Since the release of their "rather good, but rather ignored", debut 'Redlightsyndrome' in 2001, Pluto have had more than their fair share of ups and downs, of which a two year hiatus due to major legal battles with previous label Antenna was the major of these. With this battle consequently won, and this fine second album under their belt ('Pipe Line Under The Ocean' aka 'P.L.U.T.O.' - taken from a covert World War 2 Allied operation to lay undersea oil pipelines across the channel replacing the need for torpedo-vulnerable tankers), things are looking considerably better for this talented and inventive outfit. I saw these guys live for the first time in a while during mid-late 2004 and was seriously impressed (sometimes there are upsides to enforced layoffs), with the band exhibiting a sharp cohesiveness to match both their lofty rock'n'roll ambitions and frontman Milan Borich's undoubted exuberant style. To that end, this album is an undoubted and successful progression forwards - the classic rock'n'roll influences are still abound (T-Rex, Byrds, Who, Lennon, McCartney, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Cars, Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, Pixies, etc) as are the band's willing experimental and psychedelic tendencies - but these are now tempered with an irresistible originality and richly textured yet disciplined approach. It is this discipline that gives the album its undoubted power and depth (check out the following for varied evidence of this - first single "Dance Stamina", next single "Radio Crimes", "Long White Cross" and "Baghdad Boy"), making repeated listens an extreme pleasure as the shimmering melodies and ambitiously abstract songs work their way into your willing conscience. Reminding one of the period in NZ music history when bands such as Split Enz, Hello Sailor and Th' Dudes ruled the "pop" roost, Pluto make music that is artistically ambitious, highly entertaining and brimming with soul, and along with recent or upcoming recordings from the likes of the Mint Chicks, The Fanatics, Shocking Pinks, Dimmer, Edmund Cake, etc, it is a pleasure to announce that inventive, pure and creative rock music is, once again, alive and well in New Zealand. Highly recommended.