Straight Outta Nashville: Clear Plastic Masks

Clear Plastic Masks in Toronto

They take the stage looking as if they’ve stepped through a time-machine. The 70’s isn’t dead at a Clear Plastic Masks show. The crowd is either unfamiliar with them or die-hard fans pressed to the stage. For those who don’t know them, you’ll crave them by the end of a set. They drip rockstar despite how big or small the stage or crowd. They play with an honesty that makes it hard to look away, but as the nostalgic rock takes your mind a million miles away, you’re somehow right there in the moment with them.

There’s something special about Tennessee rock bands. They seem to posses something core about rock & roll. They may not have originally began in Nashville, but Clear Plastic Masks’ sound is definitely fused with that blues-soul-rock so beautifully heard in their album, Being There (2014). 

Beginning in New York City back in 2011 after Andrew Katz (Vocals) and Charles Garmendia (Drums) met in a dive bar, bonding over music and figuring out how to survive the NYC music scene, the two because fast friends despite their drastically different backgrounds. Katz grew up in Detriot, while Garmendia was born in the Dominican Republic. Matt Menold  (Guitar) and Eduardo DuQuesne (bass) were added to the unlikely group of friends, soon after Clear Plastic Masks was formed.

Playing shows around New York at the start, the band then found themselves on the road. After a little traveling in 2011 the Clear Plastic Masks found a new home, finally settling in Nashville in late 2012 after recording their first album there earlier on. CPM found a steady fan-base in the city, where their sound rooted and grew into a merging of genres, eras and a soulfulness that can’t be faked.

Releasing a self titled EP, Cpm, in 2013 the band showcased a droning dark sound with ’50s inspired elements. Drum and key heavy songs made up the album, which embodied everything great about the band. Each song offers a different side of the band and the promise to come from the new-ish band. A year later, Being there, their first official album came about. Featuring some modern-minimalistic psychedelic artwork, the cover sums up the band’s vibe. Being There,featured a faster, more concise sound with more focus on guitar, while still having a large focus on drums. Catchy rock paired with Katz’s hypnotizing voice made for a strong first album. Energy thrives throughout every track, even slow paced songs like Working Girl and When the Nightmare Comes. From start to finish there is a constantly changing consistency that is cohesive with the bands ability and talent to take on different eras of music and merge them flawlessly into something that can only be described as Clear Plastic Masks’.

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