The Beautiful Mess of Art and Noise Rock
What happens when a musician inspired by Lou Reed creates a band out of some of history’s best musicians and then uses those musicians to make a record? The answer is Plum Plum, the newest release from multi-instrumentalist Kim Rancourt. Best known for his work with the experimental band When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water, Rancourt’s solo release Plum Plum is a narrative that explores everything from New York City to protest songs to eras now long gone.
On this album, Rancourt employs help from other heavyweights within the music industry. For instance, he uses Joe Bouchard from Blue Öyster Cult, Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth and Gary Lucas from Captain Beefheart. Additionally, the record was produced by Don Fleming, who has worked with artists such as Sonic Youth, Hole and Nancy Sinatra.
Kim Rancourt’s vocals are a mix between Lou Reed and spoken word. The first track, “Walking the Trashline,” is filled with Reed-esque lyrical prose and Rancourt’s own raspy storytelling capabilities. The mix of Rancourt’s speaking vocals and fast lo-fi instrumentals makes “Circle’s Gotta Go” one of the most entertaining and rebellion-inducing tracks on the album. “I Kissed Pat Place,” the shortest song on the album, is a fast-paced art/punk rock song that ends almost as soon as it begins. The nine minute and forty-five second “ She Got It” oscillates between punk and noise rock before coming to an almost bluesy end.
The record closes with the haunting “The Thing That Is.” The entirely instrumental piece is just under four minutes and starts out as a grainy jam song. It then explodes into lo-fi noise before fading away as a guitar wails softly in the background.
While this is Rancourt’s album, he does not shy away from including other musicians and artists from heavy-hitting bands and those artists only help in Rancourt’s pursuits. With his unusual spoken word delivery and ability to construct a story, Rancourt’s Plum Plum is bound to leave an impression on listeners.