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Aug. 20 2008 12:00 AM
The Plurals are (from left) Nicholas Richard, Hattie Danby and Tommy McCord. (Dave Raven/City Pulse)

Plurals' guitarist and vocalist Tommy McCord confirms Bennett's sentiment isn't rare in The Plurals' camp. “That's kind of honestly how I have most of my friends, now,” McCord says. “It's people I see in other bands or at shows, and we hang out.”

On a Tuesday afternoon at the Good Time Gang house, home to Danby, McCord, Richard and three others, tight-jeaned musicians filed up and down the stairs with music gear, headed to The Plurals' basement practice lounge. The house has become a habitat for local acts that release recordings under The Plurals' Good Time Gang label, forming relationships by way of — you guessed it — their friendship with the band.{mosimage}

“In sociology class, they say that a pluralistic society is one where everyone has their own voice and there's no real clear-cut leader, and its just a very even, egalitarian society, and it ended up being exactly what happened with our band,” McCord says.

The trio exhibits nonstop teamwork. Danby writes songs for McCord's guitar. Richard and McCord trade instruments mid-set. Everyone dabbles. Danby says this dynamic helps the group's latest album, "Whatevers Forever," sound “more balanced between the three of us throughout.”

McCord cites The Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick, The Replacements and The Flaming Lips as influences on the record, underscoring the band's education in fuzzy riffs, giant hooks and reckless fun, so long as it serves the song. Highlights include “Medic,” which alternates between a heavy, singable chorus and verses marked by a gentle electric strumming. Danby's soft lisp makes the track, as she works the word “antibiotics” into the lyric. Where clumsier artists have proven the dangers of working in words with too many syllables — 50 Cent's “Technology” comes to mind — Danby's execution of this mouthful is unobtrusive.

On “Sweet Shallow Molassy Our House Is Whatever,” Richard overdubbed bass tracks to produce a mood that's dim and ominous but not hopeless. Brief pieces of screaming guitar scattered throughout are surprisingly rhythmic, given the free-form sound from the fretboard.

One distinctive talent of The Plurals is the singers' ability to scream at the top of their lungs and stay in tune. Proof appears on almost every track of "Whatevers Forever," particularly the heaviest piece, “FTS.” If the acronym isn't clear, just listen to the song.

In its fourth year as a band and on its second full-length album, The Plurals continue to add creativity to what some might call a '90s-rock sound. “I hate genre classifications,” McCord says.  The three call their style “post-fun” and “sandal-punk.” Or, as McCord puts it, “When punks go to the beach, they listen to The Plurals.”

(For more on The Plurals or to listen to their music, visit www.myspace.com/pluralsrock.)

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