If you're looking for lushly orchestrated observations on the fleetingness of mortality then, buddy, have I got the album for you. The Plastic Ants leave no stone unturned with their sophomore release -- every note feels carefully placed, but maintains a semblance of loose spontaneity. This ties in to the album's larger themes -- a grandiose critique of...well, it's hard to say, but it certainly evokes the ephemeral. While the title track, "Imperial Phase," would seem to evoke a snide acknowledgement of the fall of the bourgeois (always my go-to interpretation), it could just as easily refer to a starlet's fame or, more broadly, any individual's sense of control over their life.
But I think I'm reaching a little too far here -- at surface level, we're watching the rise and fall of a Hollywood starlet. And while this may sound a little overworn (what is it about middle-aged guys writing concept albums about beautiful young women confronting aging?) Plastic Ants does a nimble dance. We don't feel sympathetic for this character, particularly, nor do we hate her. Like most celebrities, we're just along for the ride, watching as she wreaks destruction in her wake. But Imperial Phase ends on a transcendent note with "You Will Find Love," a reminder to all of us -- famous, beautiful, young, or old -- that it's often the moment when we relinquish control that we find what we've been looking for all along.
Plastic Ants -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp