Australian guitarist Plini has returned with sophomore full-length, ‘Impulse Voices’. Crafted from his home studio and co-produced with Simon Grove, ‘Impulse Voices’ sees Plini expand on the soundscapes of his previous work.
Twisting melodies, urgent drums, and crashing guitars jump start the dream pop soundscapes of ‘I’ll Tell You Someday’ as Plini begins his sophomore release. Alternating between bursts of virtuoso guitar playing and lush soundscapes, the opening track balances the shredding solos that are expected of the guitarist and ensuring a strong narrative for the track.
The same can be said for ‘Papelilo’. Following on from its predecessor, the track works with a strong melodic foundation to avoid the self-indulgent pitfalls that many instrumental records fall into. Taking a more laid back and sparse approach, Plini leaves space for prog-inspired drum fills, grooving bass lines, and moments of reflective melody to move around the lead playing.
Taking explorative steps throughout the record, Plini immerses himself into many genres. Whether it’s dishing out elements of darkwave with ‘Perfume’, tackling the heavier side of his playing with the title-track, or marrying prog leads with dizzying keyboards of ‘Last Call’, Plini ensures that his distinctive playing style doesn’t dominate the record.
Continuing on the heavier side of the spectrum, ‘Pan’ offers crushing guitars and double-kick led journeys into progressive metal whilst playing with floating synths. Whilst the track displays two separate styles and sections, both sit well together and neither is overlooked, as the moments of calm hold up just as strong as any other. Complete with shredding solos and lingering saxophone melodies, it showcases a culmination of Plini‘s skill as not only a guitarist but as a composer.
Closing with the sprawling ‘The Glass Bead Game’, ambient soundscapes give way to gliding guitars, reserved pianos and delicate harp playing across its 9-minute runtime. Embracing a lengthy composition for its closer, Plini tackles a multitude of styles and techniques to deliver a concluding track that doesn’t lose its focus.
With his second full-length, Plini continues to grow as an artist by pushing his soundscapes instead of just focusing on technique, allowing the record to stand apart from its contemporaries. Whilst instrumental records, especially guitar driven ones, can be polarising, for newcomers ‘Impulse Voices’ is a strong introduction to it.