Frustration Plantation is the 4th studio album from the cello-rock ensemble, Rasputina. This album saw another change of personnel as founder member Melora Creager was joined by Zoe Keating on cello and vocals and Rasputina's first male member, Jonathon TeBeest on drums and percussion. Limited editions of the album came with a bonus disc, Poor Relations in the Shed Out Back. It featured 9 tracks (4 of which were remixes of album tracks) including some previously unreleased tracks. It's a nice little extra that's worth looking out for. The CD packaging is beautifully laid out continuing with the old fashioned themes that Rasputina are known for but with a particular pioneer/Old West theme.
Rasputina distort and sample their cello music to create a cross between more traditional classical music and alternative/Goth music. Each of their albums seems to showcase a different aspect of their sound --- in this case, the similarity between their music and traditional folk songs seems particularly highlighted. The songs come across as timeless rather than old fashioned and there are some fantastically catchy numbers like The Mayor and High on Life. Some of the songs have a slightly sharper edge than the laidback ambient feel of some of the tracks on Cabin Fever. Rasputina are an amazing band with a distinctive sound that is still being explored and reinvented even after 4 albums. This album isn't quite as instantly catchy as Cabin Fever but it's worth persevering with it because once you finally get it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without the weird and wonderful music of Rasputina.
Originally published in December 2004.