Plastic Woods – Dragonfruit (Multiple Labels 2021)*

Named after the fruit Pitaya with it’s scale-like skin, “Dragonfruit” is the new album by Plastic Woods from Andalucia, Spain. Following their debut “Icarus” album of 2019, “Dragonfruit” is a rich palette of progressive stoner rock sounds that hops across decades and genres with remarkable dexterity, demonstrating the band’s musicianship and crafting a unique sound.

The self-titled song that opens the album is characteristic of the band’s ability to draw on varied musical styles, building a stoner rock track with elements of traditional prog rock and moments that border on System of a Down. Up next comes “The Calling”, where the band brings to the table its influences from Porcupine Tree, touches of Jethro Tull and eastern melodies and vibes.

With a similar approach of blending music styles, the first part of “Dreamland” opens with a bossanova theme that sounds like you are on a trip in Marocco. However, the band quickly shifts gear, transforming the song into a Broadway-style rock theme, where their singer Jesus sings with a prose that brings to mind Mike Patton and Daron Malakian.

Nowhere on the album does the Jethro Tull vein pump louder than it does on “Storm”. Wonderful melody that sticks to your brain and paves the floor for “Closer to the Void”. This is the hard-hitter of the album with an aggressive desert rock groove that blends QOTSA and Lenny Kravitz.

The final song “Sulayr” is a chapter on its own. The title translates into “Mountains of the Sun” and is the name of a trail in Sierra Nevada, Spain. On the first part, the Tull factor kicks in with a clever groove that brings to mind Red Snapper’s “Hot Flush”. Sung in Spanish, the band’s musicianship is at full speed here, using elements of bolero and flamenco through a prog rock prism of the likes of Ozric Tentacles.

With their new album, Plastic Woods invite you to take a bite of their “Dragonfruit” and follow them on a musical trail of versatile prog stoner rock tunes. After the very first listen, you will already be very happy that you did. Unquestionably unique, check it out today!

Words by Ioannis Valiakos

* Spinda Records, The Braves Records, Discos Macarras, Violence in the Veins, Quebranta Records and Gato Encerrado Records.

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