Ohio-based indie pop band Plaid Brixx’s new self-tited EP shows that the band has big ambitions. You’d never know the band lacks a major Hollywood budget with the fine job their song’s productions and accompanying visuals boast. Where the EP falls short is in its authenticity. Great beats and vocals backed by lavish production values are commonplace on a major record label, but what sets the truly memorable artists apart is the unique and lasting impression they leave upon you. Plaid Brixx is full of good songs that are lovely to listen and dance to, but they’re tracks that do nothing to set the band apart from any other artist making the same kind of music.
Plaid Brixx opens with “Don’t Look Down”, an infectious track with a strong chorus matched by a groovy production that will stick in your head. It’s an interesting and innovative sound that Plaid Brixx plays with on the entire EP. It’s less than perfect; “Don’t Look Down” sounds like a song that would enjoy massive success on a TV advertisement for a summer before fading into obscurity.
The lack of identity continues on “Since You Came”, where layered vocals sound almost robotic. Rather than having a unique sound, Plaid Brixx’s EP sounds like what you’d hear released by Zedd or Calvin Harris; tracks where the beat is the real driving force of the song, and the artist is somewhat interchangeable. Plaid Brixx’s songs are wonderfully catchy and enjoyable, but they’re just not all that unique.
The Paul Cunningham-directed video for “Since You Came” furthers this assertion; slick, beautifully well done… without being innovative or boundary-pushing.
Personality begins to shine when the EP makes its way to “The Greener Side.” The band’s most popular song, with 23,000+ views, “The Greener Side” shows Plaid Brixx having fun, enjoying life, and making infectious music at the same time. As the Ohio natives continue to make more music, this is what they should aim for! Good pop music doesn’t take itself too seriously – and being unafraid to look silly or out there is a musician’s key to winning over fans. “The Greener Side” checks all the boxes.
Plaid Brixx‘s obligatory “ballad” track comes on “Renegade”, a slow tempo electronic song with uplifting lyrics that walk a tightrope of being effective and being cheesy. “We are the crazy and insane / We are the ones who change the game.” It’s an interesting approach to elevate the listener’s spirits; one that will either be effective or fall flat, depending on your mood and mental outlook.
The EP closes with “Away We Go”, a song that strikes memories of Dangerous Muse in its production and vocals. Tracks reminiscent of Calvin Harris or Zedd strike a bit banal, but “Away We Go” and its Dangerous Muse similarities is damn near perfect. For a band like Plaid Brixx to dominate the airwaves, they’ll need to go through an independent phase like Mike Furey of Dangerous Muse’s before they jump into the deep end to compete with Harris and Zedd.
All in all, Plaid Brixx shines for its lush production that sounds top notch. The EP struggles in finding a unique voice that would separate Plaid Brixx from its contemporaries. As the band goes forward and fine tunes their sound, these issues will likely fade away and a voice will emerge. When that happens, there will be no stopping the band; with their sound and visuals already looking like they fit in with top Hollywood acts, it’s only a matter of time before Plaid Brixx strikes the right chord and shows the world why their music should be on your playlist with all the other alternative pop that’s on the web.