North London punks mash up some 90’s indie with noisy punk rock to forge ahead into 2019 with a ringing in the listener’s ears as they go from melodic melodies ‘Headless Statues’ and then on the breaks make as much noise as possible with a distorted bass leading the charge. Think Buffalo Tom meets Fugazi and your heading in the right direction.

I can’t say I know anything about the band until this was thrust upon me to listen to and I’m glad it was as this threesome make a mean noise that I like.  At times it sounds quite bleak yet there is a warmth in the melodies. It might be a cliche to say that Berlin is a cold concrete dank place but they capture that in the song ‘East Berlin Comfort Zone’.  I think some of the melodies remind me of the kind Wonk Unit wrote especially early on.  PLenty of melody in the vocals but its backed up by a very dirty bass mix that adds depth and volume to proceedings.  It won’t be to everyone’s taste but it caught me on the right day where that big hook met noise and married at the right time to create a real force to be reckoned with.

‘Fade’ opens with a near nursery rhyme guitar but as the song builds its hypnotic quality is engulphing and a real triumph. The bass rumble becomes a feature and the all-out stomp of ‘Curse Of A Pistol’ reminds me of Gallows and St Pierre Snake Project.

To spread out the Strange Planes sound over twelve tracks is an intense listen but stay with it its a most enjoyable experience and the benefit of recording this at Steve Albini’s place is not lost on the band who embrace the American alt scene that took over in the 90’s is prevalent throughout this record but mixed well within the noisy punk rock that holds the songs up to the light and its a triumph of substance over style, the title track is worth waiting for and is the real highlight of a well above average record. As far as debuts go this is a real winner.

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Author : Seb Boyd