The Vettes meet their detractors head-on on their debut album, Plasticville. They’re not about keeping it real—what could be more boring? The Vettes have embraced rock’s artificiality because it’s more entertaining and fun than sincerity. In “Lil Wayne,” Rachel Vette can’t wait for Weezy to get out of jail to “save us from the ordinary world.” The best material here is about celebrity and wanting to be one.
Appropriately, no sounds found in nature were used in the recording of this album. Eighties synthesizers dominate the sound matched with heavily compressed guitars, but even Vette’s voice and the drums have a sheen of techno-polish on them. Not surprisingly, Plasticville sounds great as it recalls Berlin and Missing Persons, and it’s a more consistently entertaining album than anything either of those bands made. There are a half-dozen songs that I could remember after a single play.
Unfortunately, in a time when “celebrity” is being defined down daily, the Vettes’ notion of it already feels a little dated. And since the best songs on the album have been in the band’s set for a while, I wonder about how quickly the Vettes write. If they’re not careful, they and their muse could pass each other by without realizing it.