Plastic Pinks’ New EP is Super-Charged Rock That Will Rattle Your Bones

Lead Photo: Photo by Mimi Starr
Photo by Mimi Starr
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This January, Plastic Pinks will hit the 3-year mark, but on their latest EP El Animal, the Miami band sounds even more advanced than that. They’ve matured — rapidly. It’s a new era for co-founding half-brothers June Summer and Augie Pink. They’re quick to point that out, but they don’t need to. El Animal is all the explanation we need.

Opening with a rock ‘n’ roll ripper like “66 Sexta” does more than jolt the senses: It serves as a super-charged declaration of their newfound confidence. The intensity of the past few years — touring alongside AJ Dávila, tackling SXSW, opening for Thee Oh Sees and their three previous releases on imprints like Die Slaughterhaus and Burger Records — have elevated Plastic Pinks’ profile. Inevitably, they’re more assured in making bold choices now than ever.

They even went so far as to reach out to Gordon Raphael, a producer with high-profile credits like The Strokes and Regina Spektor, on Facebook. Pink told the Miami New Times that they engaged in a back-and-forth of liking and commenting after Raphael accepted his friend request, then Pink just went for it, asking him to collaborate on El Animal. He accepted, ultimately mixing the entire 6-song collection and signing up to help with the next full-length, too.

It’s clear Plastic Pinks were aiming for a big sound, the kind of multilayered rock ‘n’ roll meant to feel massive and rattle your bones. “My Frenzy State” is as hyper-kinetic as its name suggests, with a litany of embellishments that could made the track feel overwrought. But the sporadic shouts, the meandering bass line, echoing background keys and unruly solo riffage somehow work together in a way that feels grand, not grandiose.

“At World’s End” and the title track are each a bit extra: The former is a rattling psych-rock meditation on life, and the latter adopts a ballad pace as the EP’s comedown that, in the context of it all, feels like the encore of a packed, hugely affecting live show in a high-capacity venue. Listen at a loud enough volume to picture it — the real-life version is likely coming soon.

Plastic Pinks’ El Animal EP is out now on Ghost Drag Records.