Sunday, 9 January 2011

Plastic EP & The Records - At Home / Three Special Words 7" New Wave SF 350-A/B, 1981

The graphic design clusterfuck to your right has created a great deal of confusion among punk collectors and Australian music discographers alike. Is it the Plastic EP by New Wave and the Records? Or New Wave by EP and the Records? No, no, and no to the other more creative permutations that have circulated, Chinese-whispers-like, among the small cadre of enthusiasts aware of this 45's existence. Plastic EP is a pseudonym adopted by the band's vocalist (a.k.a. Daniel Samargis), an homage to the four-tracks-at-45-rpm 7" format embraced by Australian record companies in the '60s; the Records is his backing band. "New Wave", it seems, was either their label or a misguided attempt at consumer advice.

Contrary to the Sydney locale documented in the Who's Who of Australian Rock, the EPs (as we shall refer to them for brevity) were Melbourne-based. Formed in late 1979 or early '80, the EPs' main inspirations were the bands that popularised their namesake format - the Monkees, the Beatles, the Yardbirds et al. It's no surprise, then, that the band existed in isolation from the Melbourne punk and DIY scenes; what is surprising is the choice of direction for their first release (pressed in a quantity of 250, and distributed locally to friends and gig attendees) - a deliberate stab at UK punk.

Naturally, a vinyl-derived band moniker (so nice, they named it twice) delivers brownie points right off the bat, but there are other admirable qualities on display here which appeal to our more conceptual sensibilities. For starters, we are big fans of the EPs' spontaneous approach to song writing - hit "record" and see what happens. "Some of our best songs have been written in under five minutes", explains Plastic EP. "I can write a song from a drum beat and sing the song from start to end without any words written down...it's more important to get the whole song down as a whole than to record a perfect song". Obviously an inherently hit-and-miss technique, here the band wisely distils the hits at the expense of the misses (an approach that was subsequently abandoned; more on that next week). Whether the attempts at UK '77 were a stylistic success is open to debate, but both songs are undeniably catchy, and performed with commendable energy and disregard for technical precision. At Home opens with a gangbuster intro, among the best in Australian punk, before settling in to a more straightforward, '60s-inspired 12-bar punker. Three Special Words more obviously displays the EPs' "make it up as you go" ethos (Can't think of what to sing next? Nonsense syllables are an acceptable substitute for words!), and is arguably the stronger track.

An additional appeal is that nobody here is playing with a full deck. Plastic EP's inability to sing a note, combined with the rudimentary lyrics and musicianship, lend proceedings an air of the mentally deranged, only adding to the EPs' standing in the Wallaby Beat canon. Things would only get stranger over time - we pick up the trail next week.

At Home

Three Special Words

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent! And yes, I think Three Special Words is the winner as well.
Steve

DANIEL SAMARGIS said...

Hi it's PLASTIC EP here from THE EP's.......thank you for writing about our first single......I will tell you more about it.We recorded the song in Box Hill. The words "New Wave" was a description of the type of sound it was...Punk.We do write songs spontaneously. In 1981 that was our sound....rough and raw punk.
I remember recording the song "AT HOME"....all of us doing it in one go......everything recorded at once.
Most of the 250 singles were given out at gigs....I remember signing and handing them out with Wally at a Scout hall gig in Coburg. I also delivered the single to alot of Melbourne radio stations. I get e-mails everyday from people and overseas record collectors who want to by this non-existant single offering me big money for a copy.If you are lucky to find a single in a used record store consider yourself very, very lucky.....I hand drew the label design.....the new wave letters were from a sticker lettering book.....I just stuck them on.
When we released the single I thought the ep's sound was equal to
the british punk bands. ( Because we were from Australia made no difference.)We just recorded those songs and let it rip !!!!
I personally rate "AT HOME" as the better song. There's nothing like it....it's got a unique sound....it's me singing raw......and it's my signature tune.It's now 2011....that song was
the first song Wally and I recorded
.....If I will be remembered for writing any song....it will be that one not the other 1499 songs

The Professor said...

Another vote for At Home here.

PLASTIC EP said...

Hi I just want to let you know it's 30 years since we recorded the song "AT HOME".....so Wally and I want to give you the alternative first ever recording of the song to enjoy on youtube.What happened is we recorded the song.Then I went back to the studio to redo the vocals with my High school friend Rod Cirona who did back up vocals.(That version became the single).This is the link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMx_A7AWYtM
So enjoy Plastic EP and The Records - rare collectable 7" 45 rpm single from 1981
Feel free to send this video to everyone from PLASTIC EP

Wally from THE EP's said...

Hi it's Wally here from THE EP's,those songs should have been hits recorded with sweat and naivty using equipment of low standard,Hondo
copy of Precision Bass and Gibson Les Paul copy guitar and basic studio drums with real skins.That single could have been a double A side.The songs were recorded during a week night. Plastic Ep had his red Holden Commodore hit in an accident after we ate hambergers in Canterbury Road,Canterbury while his vechile was parked before the session.That could account for Plastic Ep's wild vocals on the tracks because he was so pissed off.
This the 30 year anniversary of the singles release.

Wallaby Beat said...

Thanks for the comments guys - hamburgers and car crashes = rock and roll. We look forward to your memories of the other EPs record in the next post.

THE EP'S WORLDWIDE FANCLUB said...

THE EP'S PUT THIS VIDEO OUT OF AT HOME AS NO VIDEO EXISTS AS "PLASTIC EP AND THE RECORDS"
THIS THE RELEASED SINGLE

Anonymous said...

THIS SONG "AT HOME"...............
IS THE GREATEST THING EVER RECORDED IN AUSTRALIA.......
IT'S FULL ON "IN YOUR FACE MUSIC"
UNBELIEVEBLE FOR 1981 !!!
NEVER HEARD ANYTHING LIKE IT

PLASTIC EP said...

THE EP'S love the way Wallaby beat have linked all our songs to play one after the other so you hear all our early songs.....brilliant thinking !!! .......also the ep's would like your readers to see our video new song "LOVE AND SEX" on youtube at this link
http://youtu.be/A0aOBoRw4zo
I rate this song as one of our finest
...it's even up there with "AT HOME"
......FROM PLASTIC EP

THE EP'S said...

Hi to everyone at Wallaby Beat !!!
THE EP'S just want everyone to know we are making a film called.....
THE EP'S MOVIE
"MUSIC BUSINESS"........TO SEE THE FIRST 50 MINUTES OF THE FILM THIS THE LINK ...(written and directed by THE EP'S).......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro-LkFtzGn0&feature=relmfu
The other part of of the film is currently being filmed.........from
PLASTIC EP

THE EP'S said...

THE EP'S HAVE JUST INCLUDED THE 1ST
ORIGINAL VERSION OF THE SONG "AT HOME" IN THE EP'S MOVIE - "MUSIC BUSINESS" ..........BE THE FIRST TO SEE THE PREVIEW SCENE.....THE SONGS PLAYED AT THE END OF THE SCENE !!!
HERE'S THE LINK ON YOUTUBE....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWB7TTkkfTM&feature=channel_video_title
THE EP'S HAVE TOLD YOU THIS FIRST
HERE ON WALLABY BEAT !!!!! CHECK IT OUT......SEE PLASTIC EP AND WALLY TALK ABOUT THE SONG !!

THE EP'S said...

THE EP'S WANT EVERYONE AT WALLABY BEAT TO ENJOY THE EP'S MOVIE "MUSIC BUSINESS" IT RUNS FOR 2 HOURS AND INCLUDES 19 EP'S FULL SONGS.
IT HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED BY THE EP'S. (WE WROTE AND DIRECTED THE MOVIE).HERE'S THE LINK FROM YOUR FRIENDS THE EP'S.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L18itpr74XM&feature=relmfu

THE EP'S said...

WATCH PLASTIC EP AND WALLY DISCUSS WALLABY BEAT AND THE GREAT JOB THEY DID WRITING ABOUT THE EARLY RECORDINGS OF "PLASTIC EP AND THE RECORDS" IN "LET'S GET BACK TO ROCK" - THE EP'S STORY
http://youtu.be/PEVaAKTt2pw

kapil swami said...

You have discussed an interesting topic that everybody should know. Very well explained with examples. i have found a similar website3d lettering signage visit the site to know more about singing