Plateaus Wasting Time EP (Mt. St. Mtn.)
It seems a bit ironic for Plateaus to title their new EP Wasting Time. If there's one thing you won't find much of in the San Diego group's music, it's waste. The average duration of the band's songs is about two minutes, and some don't even make it that far. Plateaus are all about making noise, going straight for the hooks and getting out while the getting's good.
That's a recurring theme on Wasting Time, the band's new 10-inch EP, which runs just shy of seven minutes. Each song is compact and concise but overflowing with melody and earworms—the portions on the EP may be small, but they're trimmed of fat and gristle, leaving three satisfying psychedelic punk morsels.
At a meaty 2:27, the title track is practically epic by Plateaus' standards, pulsing with a fuzzed-out, Krautrock-influenced bass line into acid-fried garage oblivion. Lyrically, the track takes Wavves-style stoner navel-gazing into its own oddly meditative chant: "Wasting our time / And it's feeling alright / Thinking it's fine / But I know it's a crime." And while it's gone almost as quickly as it arrives, "Wasting Time" could double in length and still not wear out its welcome.
The EP's other two tracks aren't quite so immediately arresting, though they're certainly strong enough on their own. "Air Head" finds the band taking on more of a straightforward garage-rock sound, albeit loaded with fiery guitar riffs and reverb aplenty. In fact, it grooves almost as hard as "Wasting Time" but with more power-pop influence than motorik pulse.
"Lookout" follows a similar template as "Air Head," with a much simpler structure. It's your basic three-chord, verse-chorus-verse rock song, with an added "Hey man!" refrain that recalls David Bowie's "Suffragette City."
And, before you know it, Plateaus make their unceremonious exit, allowing their three new songs to say all they need to without much fuss or drama. Not that a little dramatic enhancement would hurt. For some laid-back, garage-rock fun, however, Wasting Time will do just fine.