Dig out your boom boxes friends, and get ready for something spectacular as Family Vision is back with their second album, out on cassette March 11 via Julia’s War Recordings. While their first, self-titled album was beautifully grimy in its lo-fi presentation, Plastic Form is a little bit cleaner, but no less true to the band’s now-signature sound.
Like any self-respecting punk album, it’s short and sweet, with the longest song tapping out at just over three minutes and most of the remaining six tracks coming in right around two. And – like any self-respecting punk album – it holds its own through multiple listenings; you’re not going to get bored after the first run-through and go digging through the floorboards of your car for something else.
Plastic Form starts out wide open, with a hard and fast skate punk riff and a rapid-fire rant reminiscent of Mike Muir in his prime with Suicidal Tendencies. From there, Family Vision wanders through decades of influence, pulling out bits and pieces of legends like Iggy and the Stooges, Buzzcocks, and Meat Puppets, wrapping them in chains and flannel and dragging them through the mud for a sound that pays respectful homage to the bands who made us all love music, without ripping anyone off or trying to be someone they’re not.
This is a cohesive album, with the genre-blending happening smoothly not only between each track but within the tracks themselves. It’s less a conglomeration of sounds than it is a layering thereof, shifting from ‘80s synth-pop to furious punk to Daniel Johnston-style simplicity so seamlessly that you can’t tell where one began and the others stopped, but all of a sudden your foot’s tapping a different rhythm and you’re in a different space than where you started. “Work” might be the standout track on the album, if one were forced to choose, screaming full speed ahead through the final lines, “Go to work, sleep through the night, brush my teeth and I go to work…” There isn’t a bad song to be found here, though, and repeated spins of Plastic Form turn up something new and interesting each time.
At once cynical and upbeat, outraged and amused, Plastic Form needs to be the album that launches Family Vision from underground faves to household names. Anything less is a disservice to the world’s collective ears.