Beyond The Horizon
People In Planes
As a group, People In Planes have been around for about ten years now (although not as this band specifically, having previously been known as Robots In the Sky, then Tetra Splendour), and also have the (nowadays pretty ubiquitous) music business qualification of being formerly signed to a major label.
This experience, combined with the efforts of four separate producers across this release, means that on a technical level, the sound is pretty faultless. I specify that ‘technical’ bit because on a personal level, it does nothing for me. Yes, it’s polished - big and ballsy when it needs to be, melodious and delicate at other points, but just about every other mainstream rock band these days has the (Pro-)tools required to get the same effect, so there also needs to be some tunes to back up the studio wizardry.
Unfortunately in this instance, there aren’t tunes, but a seemingly never-ending succession of reference points. ‘Last Man Standing’ begins as a Beck/Moby dance-rock number with a quick diversion into Biffy Clyro wig-out territory, before ‘Mayday (M’aidez)’ has a go at mixing Muse’s stadium-prog with Linkin Park’s downtuned beats. Then we have ‘Get on the Flaw’ which sounds like Justin Timberlake and Timbaland deciding to rock out. Or, to put it more simply - very Maroon 5. And that’s just the opening three tracks. Over the other nine, I’d probably have to mention Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Chris Cornell fronting Incubus, Pearl Jam, Ash, Coldplay channelling Massive Attack, Lostprophets and Newton Faulkner.
I suppose if you’re the sort of person who says “I’ll listen to anything really” when asked about your favourite music (although we all know you mean to say “Virgin radio”), you could do worse than to pick this up. If you’re after something more niche, you’ll have to look elsewhere.