I don’t know why exactly, but I always thought Pluto was a bit naff back in the day. Maybe it was the breathy lead vocal of Milan Borich. Maybe it was the music scene in NZ at the time, with Pluto bumped down the order somewhat. Maybe it was my own – call it what it was – snobbish attitudes about Kiwi music.
Either way, I never gave this, their second and most successful album, a chance at the time. Beyond “Long White Cross”, I don’t even know if I heard any of the rest of it before listening to it today.
The truth is that it isn’t a bad album. Borich’s breathy singing grates a little after a while – he sounds like he is struggling to get the notes out, even sounding flat at times. Musically, the group sounds very indie-rock-circa-early-noughties: acoustic guitar and piano within standard rock composition.
Upbeat opener “Radio Crimes” is enjoyable, and gives way to the groups most successful (and maybe best) song “Long White Cross”. Later, slow burner “8 O’Clock” slows things down to a crawl before “Dance Stamina” picks things up, a solid pop-rock track, complete with hand clapping in the chorus. The double-whammy of “Baby Cruel” and “Rock n Roll” pick things up toward the end. But the album is fairly inconsistent in terms of pacing.
As I say, not a bad album. I don’t know if I missed anything by skipping it back in the day, but I enjoyed listening back to it now.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.
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