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Classic of the Week

The Plimsouls "Everywhere at Once" (1983) / Geffen

August 18, 1994|JON MATSUMOTO

By all rights, this sterling effort should have catapulted the Plimsouls into national prominence. Instead, it proved to be their swan song.

Power pop doesn't get much better than this. Their second full-length album showed the Plimsouls (based in Los Angeles) to have a remarkable facility for merging high octane rock 'n' roll with the type of choice melodies they should have been able to hum all the way to the bank.

The disc opening "Shaky City" is an immediate grabber, with razor-sharp guitar lines and crackling drum accents that are the ideal complements to Peter Case's way cool singing. "Magic Touch" is another seemingly radio-ready rocker with plenty of old-fashioned heart and grit. Without question, though, the album's centerpiece is "A Million Miles Away," a re-recording of a single the band had released independently. It's a stunning pop dynamo.

It is evident that the Plimsouls were feeling their oats throughout "Everywhere at Once." Whether delivering a stormy rave-up or playing at subtler mid-tempo, they displayed all the infectious exuberance of a bunch of kids trying out their new toys on Christmas. Case shone especially bright as he slung out the terse lyrics with plenty of raw nerve and youthful verve.

But, like the Dream Syndicate and the Blasters and a number of other outstanding L.A. bands of the early '80s, the Plimsouls never received their commercial due. After "Everywhere at Once" the band split, and Case embarked on a career of his own as a folk troubadour.

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