Plastic Barricades – “Tunnel” – both nostalgic and uniquely fresh sounding

I pretty much love everything Plastic Barricades do. So I knew I was going to like their latest single, “Tunnel”, and that is definitely the case. Bursting from the blocks with a rolling bassline, yapping guitars and that particular vocal sneer, the track reminds us what we’ve been missing since their previous release. Everything that made the world fall for “Optimist” not only remains in its successor; it shines even brighter. Both songs are from the duo’s upcoming sophomore album “Self-Theories”. Based between London and Paris, Plastic Barricades are Dan Kert on guitars and vocals and Paul Love on drums and production.

“Tunnel” was written and recorded in a backyard Shed Studio in North-West London, mixed by Paul Love and mastered by Andy Baldwin at Metropolis Studios. The supporting video was created by PB art-director Elina Pasok and Dan Kert. All colors and movements you see in the video – which was shot through a microscope – are real, with no post-production trickery added.

Front-man, Dan Kert is a charismatic leader, distilling lyrics that mix cold pragmatism and warm hope, all sung with conviction by a voice only asking to be accompanied by an impacting soundscape. Nods to the past have recently been the essence of the band, patching their modern indie rock style with the golden era of psychedelic motifs.

“Tunnel” brings an air of fresh, inspired complexity made simple. Lead guitarist Dan Kert sounds revitalized as he jangles through the song’s solid main riff. This allows him to do what he does best, feed off of the bass and drum energy delivered by Paul Love, and triplicate it through his voice.

Since they began work on their forthcoming album, Plastic Barricades seems to have played against the stereotypes of the indie-rock sound, and consistently have delivered music that is both nostalgic and uniquely fresh sounding. Rather than thrashing around, the music is becoming more mature and a little darker, but still retaining a clever rock sensibility.

The song lyrics hit hard, and straight to the core of its narrative: “Driving through the tunnel there’s no turning back. The walls seem closer now. Reverberating sounds. Maybe you have lost the way. Took a wrong turn somewhere one fine day. Now you’re trapped inside this endless game. Of hope and fear and desperation.” Despite this, the music is also playful and effortlessly cool.

Plastic Barricades have outdone most of their songs, with “Tunnel”, and their two preceding singles. They’re a couple of serious musicians, finding new ways to stretch themselves and discovering new sounds. As every one of their new songs is obsessively scrutinized, I have no doubt that eventually, the band will attract a furiously loyal following.

These days, its commonplace for upcoming bands to not fully live up to their potential, as they aim too high, and try too hard to impress. This is not the case with Plastic Barricades. “Tunnel” is loaded with nifty little touches and plenty of ideas. But it’s what Plastic Barricades do with these ingredients that allows them to surpass many of their contemporaries.


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