Opening with the wryly constructed "Ron Asheton's loafers", Hyper Plastic, the electronic solo project of former This Perfect Day guitarist Rickard Johansson, establishes what we can expect from the EP - clever arrangements of simple melodies, a mess of blips and bloops entwined with Johansson's guitar work, driving electronic drums, and coolly detached vocals. One can't but hear elements of "Punk rocker"-era Teddybears throughout the EP, even in its most inspired moments for at the core of Hyper Plastic is a need to channel angular punk energy down the darkest of pop-saturated avenues. As "Love & hate" demonstrates, Johansson has a fantastic understanding of atmosphere and mood (favoring the brooding kind), and utilizes this awareness to elevate his compositions just clear of being dismissed as merely simplistic distortion-tinged pop songs. That said, the cynical charm of Hyper Plastic starts to lose some of its appeal after a few listens -- though, in all honesty, this fate awaits the vast majority of four-track EPs. I'm curious to see what Johansson could do with more time.
- Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson