Tuesday, September 26, 2017

PLEBB – Yes It Isn't It (Plebb, 1979)

International relevance: **
Swedish and English vocals

The city of Mönsterås is famed for its long running Mönsterås Blues Band, but Plebb took it all one step further and went straight for a sound influenced by hard rock and the burgeoning New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

Founded in 1976, they made their debut in 1978 with a cassette released in a tiny edition of 40 copies, made by the band members themselves – all 16-18 years old – and sold to their eager local fanbase. The small but instant success prompted the band to make a proper LP only a few months later. 500 copies were pressed of ”Yes It Isn't It”, an album as primitively recorded as the cassette before it. Two locations were used for the sessions, a school and a biker club. The latter makes perfect sense – the album is a heavy affair that presumably went down well with the local bikers.

Peter Martinson's and Per-Martin Persson's fuzzed out dual guitars are up front screaming – a bit too up front actually, as it makes the overall sound appear a bit unbalanced. Especially the vocals suffer from being buried in the mix. Not that it's too much of a problem as the vocals are weak. The rhythm section is at least adequate but unexceptional, the songwriting's decent but unimaginative – most of the band's energy supply was obviously spent on the guitar amps.

Fans of UK band Dark (of ”Round the Edges” fame) may want to check out ”Yes It Isn't It” for the sake of it, but you probably need to be a die-hard heavy rock aficionado not to eventually dismiss ”Yes It Isn't It” as the bland album it is. There are several good 70's heavy rock album from Sweden but this is not one of them. It's debatable if this should even account for progg, but I decided to include it here since it's listed in ”The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music”.

Plebb later changed their name to Purple Haze and released a mini album in 1981. Plebb reunited briefly some years ago. Peter Martinson remains an active musician.

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