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People In Planes “As Far As The Eye Can See…” Review

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Sometimes it’s really hard for me to determine whether or not hype is a good thing. Sometimes it can lead to a situation where expectations are far too demanding of a band, movie, book, television show, or anything along those lines. I can look back, and honestly remember hearing about how great Coldplay were. Point taken, right? VH1’s You Oughta Know: Artists on the Rise mentions People in Planes as “Jagged guitar drama and ominous sounds from Wales.” Currently at the You Oughta Know #1 spot, the band, I believe, is officially being hyped. Before checking in as flavor of the week (and/or month) the band was previously known under various names in their native Wales, Tetra Splendour and Robots In The Sky. People In Planes eventually found success after 2005’s SXSW festival as Wind-Up Records approached and later signed the band.

But on my first listen, I was rather hyped out, and was determined that I was not going to find any real “keepers.” After all, what does VH1 know about music? My mental block eventually gave way to a growing taste for the band’s ever-expansive As Far As The Eye Can See… The album begins with the thunderous blues-rock anthem “Barracuda,” which I can liken to “My Black Widow.” Both seem outliers to me, tracks that sound different for one reason or another, but both having leading lyrics that match their unique, dense rock.

I’ve been overly critical in some situations in the past in terms of lighter or softer sounding rock. In general I have a hard time trying to go back and forth between stronger tracks, as just mentioned, and those such as “Rush.” Though its interesting vocal utilization adds a genuine hipness to the track, it seems out of place. A good portion of the album follows suit. The album opens with the powerful “Barracuda,” but varies between solid guitar exploitation and borderline tender songs. If asking whether or not the hype concerning the band’s first single “If You Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode)” was warranted, I would say no. But after looking a little deeper into the band’s sound and lyrics a solid album materializes. Touché VH1, touché.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]