In the last several years, we’ve learned that SoCal has a lot more going for it than just its glorious weather. Bands like Wavves, the Crocodiles, the Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast have helped to put the area’s fuzzy indie and surf-rock scene on the map. Plateaus joined their contemporaries last year with their Beach Coma 7”. And now, after a year of throwing around ideas, Plateaus have finally released their debut self-titled LP, giving you the auditory sensation of life in a summer-minded city during your upcoming cold, wintery nights.
Throughout the record, the band alternates between distortion-based and melodic styles, occasionally blurring the two together on some tracks. Similar to the fellow SD indie rockers of the Soft Pack, Plateaus incorporate grainy, fast-paced guitar riffs, emphasized on the songs “Do It For You” and “Suzy,” complementing the guitars with high-pitched wails. Listeners are zapped with energy, filling their minds with cravings for hedonism and teenage-angst-worthy antics. These adrenaline-driven tracks contrast songs like “Beach Coma” and “The District,” which focus more around Kevin Gist’s fuzzy, warm vocals. Such songs provide listeners with an abstract blanket of mental peace, bringing to mind images of a directionless Sunday drive.
While recording the LP is a good start for the Plateaus, the album has its flaws. The tracks are short (the longest clocking in a 2:56) and difficult to discern. As a result, the songs often mesh together, making it possible to listen to half of the album without realizing you’ve listened to five different songs. Additionally, the album sounds don’t separate themselves enough from the band’s West Coast peers. There’s good stuff here, but Plateaus could stand for a little experimentation before their next record, something that will help the band carve out an audio niche among the crowd of SoCal indie bands.