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The Planes – The Planes
Free Music Link: http://theplanesnyc.bandcamp.com/album/the-planes
Notes: Pay "what you want". Pass The Planes a bone or two!
The Planes formed in Brooklyn NY in the summer of 2010, releasing their first album in July this year – self-titled ‘The Planes’.
Their website proudly proclaims that the album was “recorded on 1/4” tape in a busy practice building, and mixed, mastered, and duplicated exclusively by the band”. One finds this fact very easy to accept.
From the opening seconds of the record The Planes shows off a dirty, garage, rock and roll sound that is appealing – almost charming – in its sincerity and authenticity. It sits well as a whole and has a considered flow to it. Opening with ‘Helen of Troy’ – a short, catchy, fun jumper of a track, reminiscent of The Strokes at their most rampant, with touches of Brit pop/punk – it sets the tone for the record’s first act: a series of frivolous songs with playful titles like ‘OMG’; bouncing, catchy rhythms; and lots of cute little licks.
As we move into the second half of the record it eases us into a few less frantic, more considered, indie rock numbers that are just starting to yearn a bit more. You know, that bittersweet alt/rock yearning thing? Yeah, that. And so by the time we reach the album’s climactic ‘The Sea and the enemy Between us’ they’ve fully earned that angsty, touch-of-emo, kind-of-anthemic sound that we secretly (heck, openly) love in alternative/indie so much. They leave us with ‘Red Car’ to close the album out, a nice slow come-down of a song with touches of nostalgia and some of that earlier frivolity, there to remind us of The Planes’ overriding message: We are pretty fun you guys (but we have emotions sometimes too, and that’s okay).
The Planes manage not to overdo it at any point, sticking to the main ingredients of good rock and roll – catchy rhythms, competent guitar, strong bass lines where you want them, a few long wails here and there – not wasting energy with flashy toys and over production. Less is definitely more with The Planes.
Any review of The Planes is not complete without a thorough appraisal of lead singer & guitarist Stephen Perry’s voice. Maaaaaaan, this voice. I am tempted to write an entirely separate review devoted entirely to this guy’s voice. What it lacks in refinement or what some musical experts might describe as being “on key” it makes up for with absolute commitment to the content. He is letting it all hang out and definitely enjoying himself, so we’re enjoying ourselves. It jars so strongly against the tune at certain points that one may be forgiven for thinking they were listening to a grown-up Harry & The Potters, and hearing someone sing harmonies on someone singing out of key is kind of cute in an “aw… isn’t that cute…” kind of way. The occasional waverings and wailings in the more emotionally invested moments are a little reminiscent of Connor Oberst (or some early Isaac Brock), but not derivative or nearly so dire as Oberst. Perry’s vocal style is absolutely married to the group’s sound overall, contributing some appreciated messiness to the aforementioned authentic garage-rock feel. The Planes are sure enough of their sound and what they’re trying to achieve that these clearly massive holes in Perry’s vocal training don’t detract from the enjoyment, they enhance it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This record should make a fun little addition to your collection. The Planes aren’t exactly artful but as you’re nodding along you find yourself asking “who cares?”
Album name: The Planes
Genres: indie rock, lo-fi
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Band members: Sacha Chernoff, Bass, Gavin Dunaway, Guitar, Stephen Perry, Guitar + Vox, Jeff Patlingrao, Drums
Date album released: 7.1.2011
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This entry was posted in 2011, 3.5/5 Stars, Albums & Singles, Artists, Brooklyn, Genre, Indie Rock, July, Lo-fi, Local, New York, North America, Release Date, Reviews, The Planes, United States and tagged Gavin Dunaway, Jeff Patlingrao, Sacha Chernoff, Stephen Perry, The Planes. Bookmark the permalink.