Reviews Of

"The Action Poets vs.
George The King Of Swing"

CINCINNATI CITYBEAT - "Another excellent Dayton export, The Pure Plastic Tree, have recently released a fantastic CD, "The Action Poets vs. George The King Of Swing". The band offers a harshly unique side to the diverse Dayton sound, playing kinetically charged acoustic music with a DIY groundness that adds an extra dimension of adrenaline to an already endearing approach.
It's rare to hear an all-acoustic band conjure up the immediacy and abandon that is apparant here. The Tree's sound is sort of like updated folk, giving classic starkness a proper kick in the booty with a worldliness and attitude more common in youthful Alternabands.
"The Action Poets" showcases unlikely instruments like banjo, violin and mandolin for a refreshing curve. There's a clear musical connectiveness that bonds the players and furthers this artsy and passionate release."

INDIE STREET - "This quintet plays with intelligence and style. Annette's violin is a real standout, and Michael's vocals have a terrific sense of urgency. The songs travel from soft mellow day folk to upbeat intense jazz. An all around great album. Favorite tracks include "Marrianne", "George The King Of Swing" and "Mark Kramer". Just put this on and let it spin."

THE CREATURE - "This is a great grunge album. The acoustic-only set of grunge/punk by The Pure Plastic Tree is incredible. One of the most impressive things about this album is the sound - it sounds more like a jam session than a studio album. Violinist Annette Meng adds a sense of melancholy to the balance and urgency in Michael Goodson's lyrics. The banjo on some of the songs adds a slight hillbilly feel that completely fits because of the acoustic nature of the album. "Mesmerized" is a fast, energetic track that also has a beautiful violin overlay. Most of the songs on this album have a slightly urgent feel to them..." -Colin Campbell

CRINGE - "Grunge-a-riffic! This CD has that moody acoustic rock thing going with good crunchy grooves. The vocals uncannily resemble Eddie Vedder, but there the Pearl Jam comparison ends. If anything, this band reminds me of Marcy Playground with a touch of evil Camper Van Beethoven "9 of Disks" thrown in (must be the violin). For some reason I was also reminded of Spain. I tried to dislike this CD... but somehow I haven't gotten around to removing it from my CD player. Bonus points go to the elegant, uncluttered package design." - Nicole Wolfersberger

FLOW - "...The instruments come off as au natural, which is impossible in reality, I know, but they really don't sound like they've been miked. There's this jamming-in-the-living-room feel to this which is really great, especially since the band can actually play their instruments. They've got some good banjo music on this, and the guy on the upright bass really knows how to rock... YEE-HAW! (ahem, sorry; there's a picture of a tractor on the box, couldn't help myself). And I know almost every band out there has a violin player at this point, but I still love to hear it."

VICTORY REVIEW - "Even their name is original! The music certainly is. This band is acoustic, but you might not believe it at first... This is some powerful, energetic and actually unique stuff... I think if some stations had this they would play it. The musicians exude some powerful playing to match the equally powerful vocals."

THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS - "...On compact disc, the Tree will forever blossom. "The Action Poets vs. George The King Of Swing", the Dayton quintet's full-length release, stands as a document of what was for a truly innovative band in a town full of innovators... The Tree offers the biggest acoustic sound this side of the Redwood Forest.
This Tree doesn't need electricity to scream - it rocks just fine without any help from Edison. Incorporating a violin, mandolin and banjo, the band's tense tightness belies any "acoustic" notions.
Take "Annette Song", which begins, aptly enough, with Annette Meng's upbeat violin and quickly meshes with drummer Steve Johnson's military-march snare and lyricist Michael Goodson's tall, deep timbre. For "Mesmerized", Goodson's vocals resemble an energetic Richard Thompson, while Meng's violin careens into his banjo. Instrumental fun is frequent as well. "George The King Of Swing" is a seconds-long drum exhibition. "Malt Liquor" develops into a bass and guitar experiment, sans any sort of headache the title might imply."

MOO - "(The Pure Plastic Tree) are an all acoustic band with a vast range of instruments - from guitars, mandolin and violin to an upright bass. They prove that they can be acoustic and still have a huge sound. Musically they are a diverse bunch, but to my rather untrained ear they are reminiscent of early CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN or PIMENTOS FOR GUS.
For a band that has not plugged in, songs like "Mesmerized" and "Poppy's Sunrise" pack a lot of punch. Annette Meng is a true talent. This violinist's lovely playing on "Method Of Trees" is hauntingly beutiful. Her rich, lilting melodies weave magic through Michael Goodson's thick vocal meanderings and Brian Bagdonas's thumping bassline.
Goodson plays the widest variety of instruments, and plays each of them with a prowess that belies his age, but his vocals bothered me a bit. I know this can be either a great honor or a kiss of death, but I think he sounds a lot like a certain singer in Pearl Jam. (Sorry, Michael.) However, Vedderness aside, "The Action Poets..." is a great disc to pick up for the musicianship alone."

SCREED - "The PPT was a sort of acoustic punk band from Dayton that wrote and played with their hearts and heads. This disc is a shining example that you don't have to use electricity to make great sounds...
I honestly love all of the music that the band has left us to remember them by, so I won't pick any favorites. I urge you to preserve their music forever and ever by seeking out this disc...
For those of you who want something a little more visual to remember The PPT by, Big Beef Records has a VHS Hi-Fi Stereo video tape that features the band on a live television broadcast."

GAJOOB - "An all-acoustic band that manages to coax a punk drive coupled with a folk-influenced sensibility. Violinist Annette Meng adorns the bands arrangements with a deft counterpoint and while you can't help but recall modern bands like Smashing Pumpkins and others, The Pure Plastic Tree has enough progressive depth to commandeer its own set of rules"

EVERYBODY'S NEWS (Cincinnati, OH) - "(The Pure Plastic Tree) throw a new curve in Dayton's already strangely diverse music scene... The band spices things up with occasional slinky jazz drumming, hillbilly romps and sweet, group harmonies."

IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION - "Unique in that they're all acoustic, (The Pure Plastic Tree) play with this humongous amount of vibrancy in th' punk style (& at the same time, acoustically - hard to BELIEVE, but its' REAL). Takes some TALENT! (The PPT and REAL LULU) are both Ohio bands, with a decided "edge" up on th' competition (of which there's aplenty these days). Big Beef Productions has scored again."

WHOSE FOLK?! (Germany) - "Karge MŠnner mit grauen Stimmen spielen zum ungelenken Tanz auf. Die Pferde stehen drau§en gesattelt vor der TŸr, wŠhrend die Geige und die Drums mit unruhigem Pulsschlag die Klage begleiten. Hier sind sie wieder: Die staubigen Miniaturen Ÿber das amerikanische Leben zwischen Dšrfern, die nur aus Stra§en und Einkaufszentren bestehen, und einer Singstimme, die wandlungunsfŠhig im Schaukelstuhl vor dem Fenster mit dem Fliegengitter abhŠngt. Variantenreich geplugged, um damit die krassen Elemente die Einsamkeit des Jazzes, die UnfŠhigkeit des Countrys und die Liebe zum Folk zu betonen.
"The Pure Plastic Tree" sind so erdig wie der Traktor auf dem Cover. Soundtrack fŸr ein Stadtfilm von Jim Jarmusch, wenn er mal wieder REM nicht bezahlen oder sonstwie dafŸr gewinnen kann. TrŠge genug, um in der hitzigen Sommernacht auf den Regen zu warten. Schnell genug, um die Scheiben runterzukurbeln, auf die liegengebliebenen Autos am Stra§enrand zu deuten. Und cool genug, um mit grimmigen Gesicht auf den Stufen vor dem Rathaus auszuharren.
Wenn sie swingen, dann verhalten, mit der Erfahrung, das Lebensfreude teuer, selten und gepflegt sein will. Farm Aid ist RealitŠt und selbst in Germany bringen Bauern nur 1 Prozent Beitrag zur Gesamtwirtschaft. Wo gibt es schon noch AgralŠnder, die Scheunen fŸr den ungehobelten LŠrm begabter Autodidakten haben?
Eine CD mit dem Charme vertrocknender Sonnenblumen und den herbstlichen StŸrmen Ÿber die Kornkreise. Nichts fŸr die Leute, die ihre Pflanze streicheln, aber krŠftiges Futter fŸr HolzfŠller und all solche, die es gerne sein wŸrden, oder auch nur sonstwie im Gras liegen mšgen."

MUTANT RENEGADE - The PPT always play great songs and this CD is no exception. They are the best acoustic/folk/punk band I have heard or seen and are always entertaining. This (album) is a great tribute to the almighty tree."

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Dayton, Ohio 45409
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