On the 26th February the Edinburgh musician known as Jack Hinks released another massive single. This one is called 'Plastercast' and here at Elevate we have been given the opportunity to share our thoughts and comment on the new single.
Like all of Jack Hinks's masterpieces, it is embroidered with a deep messages, ideas and emotions; all fused together by one of the highest production levels you will find in contemporary music. This song can be placed as a sequel to the captivating Jigsaw, but it does more than simply complete the pieces that Jigsaw explores. Plastercast has moved beyond the picture and deals with the frustration of coming to terms with who you are, and who you want to be. This is a record with power that explores the process of breaking apart and attempting to source redemption and a sense of closure when you build yourself back up. Outside of these themes, Plastercast is a further example of how Jack Hinks can create an evocative blend of rock, epic atmospheres and dynamic soundscapes. It is most definitely a fusion of guitars, choruses, harmonies, excellent song writing and impact!
You would expect any song that deals with frustration and embodies a line such as 'I'm tired of keeping you inside' to use the those fundamental elements that make rock punch: distortion, powerful drums and tempo. These are utilised in Plastercast, but in a far more dynamic way then you would expect for a rock song. In previous releases, Jack Hinks has experimented with light guitar rhythms, opting for softer chord configurations and the beginning of Plastercast is no different. A deep resonating sound sits behind these light chords in the opening, as Hinks's vocals set the scene for the song. Fiona Liddell's vocals are also heard in the verses and choruses of this song and they are very much a welcome inclusion. Liddell's vocals both contrast and complement Jacks deeper melodic vocal line and this helps deliver the message of the song, along with the power and the subtlety expressed throughout. Liddell's impact on the song is also heard with the inclusion of the violin in both the breakdown, chorus and outro, which are all excellently produced. The verses and the breakdown occupy a lower noise level and softer tone than the punchy chorus and you will find yourself lost in these parts of the song until the chorus brings you back to reality. Not only is the antithesis between verse and chorus an impressive production technique (executed to perfection), but it allows the rocky character of the chorus to power through the record and make it memorable. You will be saying 'I'm Tired of Keeping You Inside' very quickly, but this song will be on repeat for a long time!
Above we mentioned the breakdown and the outro deserve much critical acclaim. Both embrace an atmosphere outside of the rock character created by the antithesis of the verse and chorus. The breakdown (from around 2:08 mark) is soft, delicate and absolutely beautiful. A harmonious interplay between guitar and violin takes place, with each bouncing intricate notes off the other. The breakdown sits in a empty vacuum that requires nothing more than those notes to create an impact. It is always impressive when a musician can make something with subtlety and simplicity fill the entire record with presence. For the team, this was one of the most captivating elements of the song.
The outro is as equally as impressive and something we loved. The perfect utilisation of 'woahs' and 'ohhs' helps dissipate the energy created from the several back to back chorus until the song fades around 36 seconds later. There is also a huge epic character sitting behind this outro, which we feel allows the crescendo of Plastercast to not only be felt but also fade away seamlessly until we are left at the same point that began our journey into the song. This could allow the listener to embrace a moment of reflection, maybe contemplation, before the song's end. The ending, however, still maintains that slightly uncomfortable sound we heard at the start. This could be an illusion to the idea that even when redemption is achieved, it is seldom perfect. Either way, we think the outro is an effective way to end this energy, and musically driven song.
There is something very different present in this song when it comes to assessing the character. It is a character that you will not quite find in Hinks's other music. It might not have the same epic atmospheric feel as Hinks's Fabric single, but having reviewed some of the work by Fiona Liddell's Gefahrgeist, we can hear more epic themes crossing over into Hinks's music than in his other releases. Do not get us wrong, there are many contrasts, but that underlying epic character in Gefahrgeists's work appears to be finding a way into Hinks's music and it works so well. Buried behind the rock of this song, the epic feel helps to build atmosphere and strength, which not only allows the rockier moments to sound even greater than they would on their own, but allows the sombre moments to fill the track without affecting the delicate atmosphere. The violin and underlying sounds also help keep the song's noise floor low, while building body and emphasis. A very clever production technique to ensure your song does not sound thin, has energy and can utilise tempo changes effectively. An epic character this song most certainly has, and one Hinks has used with great precision to allow Plastercast to be both different from his previous works, but also stand out as a record in today's saturated music industry.
Probably the easiest question to answer in this review... At 3:45, we think this song it is worth every second of your listening time. It is a tune with deep messages, themes and excellent song writing. It is lined with a production quality that you will only find in the industry's top recording artists, and it pleasures the listener with clarity, perfect accentuation on the more subtle and softer parts of the track, along with drive and energy for those powerful choruses. Furthermore, this song while remaining a Jack Hinks number, offers something a little bit different, as it discovers some of the epic character you might find in a Gefahrgeist single. No Hinks single has been a disappointment and Plastercast is no different. It is a single that evolves from his previous work, while maintaining elements we have come to love from a Hinks song. If you are a fan of rock, indie pop-rock and experimental rock, this song is the tune you have been waiting for. Laced with dynamic changes, quite brilliant guitar playing and a vocal, and instrument line which can only impress. Plastercast is a must listen to tune. Make sure it is on your playlist and make sure Jack Hinks is at the top of your following list!
Jack Hinks is an Edinburgh based musician, whose music is not afraid to explore and cross boundaries. From acoustic numbers, soulfully epic pieces to rock productions, he is a musician of diversity and skill. His music is always produced at the highest quality, both musically, lyrically and technically. If there is one thing you do today, make sure you check our Mr. Jack Hinks. We would be surprised if he did not top your playlist!