"1/2" is inspired, in part, by the novella "Half" by MacEckney Shin. It concerns the misadventures of absurdist dissident/courier Max Fallon.
"Let's push an envelope, shake things up, commit random acts of absurdity - you don't live once. Most of the time, you only live half."
"1/2" runs the gamut of straight-up rock, electronica, big band samba, and pure power punk pop. Over the span of 15 songs, Plessas explores a theme of truly living when living simply, honestly, and humorously. The following four songs represent a cross-section of the highly eclectic album. "Butterfly Knife" is airy, yet driven. This cerebral and textured piece deals with personal power through the gift of speech, along with its benefits and consequences. Odd-metered and damply produced, "Ergonomic Self" is a mantric song examining PTSD and efforts to reform one's self to survive. The straight-ahead ska-punk of "Fridays" discusses how weekends have virtually disappeared and "Golden Goose" is an upbeat jam with a "Philly-sound" that takes a look at relationships from a Grimm Brothers point of view. "If you wanna come along, just hang on."
Recorded entirely by Plessas in the early months of 2003, "1/2" utilizes the wonder of digital multitracking, yet retains a simplistic philosophy of input to achieve a more personal sound. Some of the unique instrumentation used on the album include an ARP Odyssey and Joe's beloved collection of organs: the Hammond Piper and S6 and the all-tube Silvertone chord organ.
Joe Plessas gained attention and acclaim as the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for The Bedouins for seven years. Their 1993 release featured an eclectic collection of music and was well received by the Syracuse area media. The Syracuse Post Standard declared it to be "a diverse mixing of sounds, styles and feelings that sound fresh". The solo release of "Progmire Syndrome" in 1998 generated favorable reviews all around. The Mediator commented that Joe "attacks with righteous ferocity at time; coaxes with pleading passion at others". He managed to tone things down a bit for his most recent composition, though: the nuptial mass for his wedding in May 2003.
"Music is a very old creature that needs to be kept alive by continually pressing the limits and respecting the listener." - Joe Michael Plessas