Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 15/4
Planes Mistaken For Stars
Written by: PP on 12/02/2017 20:59:41
Criminally underappreciated throughout their short-lived career, Planes Mistaken For Stars reached a cult status among a select few during the early 2000s when they released three critically-acclaimed, but difficult albums that only gained in notorierity following their breakup in 2007. Noisy, cacophonic, yet emotionally-charged and packed with punk undertones and post-hardcore dissonance, the menacing expression of Planes Mistaken For Stars was never for the faint-hearted. Yet within their chaos there is structure and a melodic overlay that qualifies their expression as that special noise as one social media commenter put it, a unique style that was most accurately described by SLUG magazine when they said the band exists "on the periphery of emo, punk, hardcore and rock n' roll" in one of their reviews.
"Prey" is their fourth album overall and first one in a decade, but you wouldn't have guessed that much time was in between it and 2006's "Mercy" by the sounds of it. Still an eclectic mixture of gritty, dirty, and angry vs. atmospheric and melodic, "Prey" offers a discordant post-hardcore experience that is unmatched by modern bands today. It combines together experimental atmospherics like "Pan In Flames" with the more straight-forward, rock'n'roll infused, slowly scaling screeching guitars in "Fucking Tenderness". Common to both styles is a cacophonic, noisy soundscape that feeds off fear and chaos, yet always offers something to latch onto. In that sense, it's comparable to the equally complex and challenging expressions by Poison The Well or Fear Before The March Of Flames (on their later output), who relied on similarly uncompromising styles that seamlessly combined experimentalism with relatively catchy passages with great success.
Here, the atmospheric, faded-back, slightly awkward vocals resemble Crime In Stereo in places, only to regress back into coarse screaming supported by cacophonous instrumentation. Yet within it all is a loaded emotional charge that feels like it's about to burst through the seams at any given moment now. The way Planes Mistaken For Stars are able to control this underlying rage and fiery feeling is nothing short of masterful, resulting in a fascinating tension that resonates throughout the album. As such, "Prey" is one of the true forgotten masterpieces of 2016 that deserves much wider attention.
Download: Fucking Tenderness, She Who Steps, 'Til It Clicks, Riot Season, Enemy Blinds
For the fans of: Crime In Stereo, Poison The Well, Fear Before The March Of Flames, Cave In
Release date 21.10.2016