Photo by Angela Owens
Planes Mistaken for Stars' comeback album, Prey, starts mid-note, as if the band never left, but simply reappeared from the ether—a group of immortal, wandering spirits manifesting in corporeal form to pick up their conquests right where they left off.
It's been eight years since Planes, the hard rocking, hair flipping, wild motherfuckers hell-bent on annihilation called it quits, not long after the release of their third album, Mercy. Following a smattering of reunion performances over the last couple of years, they recently announced their pending return with Prey. The album's opening track, "Dementia Americana," sees the four-piece wasting no time punching back into the swing of things, bypassing all other bullshit and exploding right into the chorus.
For another nine songs after that, the band delivers a thoroughly familiar onslaught of their filthy, whiskey-fueled fuck-rock. And although the members are looking more shorn these days, nothing has been trimmed from their sound. Frontman Gared O'Donnell still keeps his voice right in his trademark sweet spot—a hushed scream or a loud whisper, depending on how you look at it.
Prey doesn't aim to reinvent the band's sound or add any new dimensions to it. They're the same raspy juggernauts they were on classics like Fuck with Fire and Up in Them Guts. They also tucked a quieter element into Prey with "Black Rabbit," a bitter breakup song over an acoustic guitar, just in case you'd forgotten about O'Donnell's solo project, Hawks and Doves.
Planes Mistaken for Stars might have just been the most overlooked band of their time. They played among punk peers and hardcore heavyweights, but never quite fit in with any of them. They don't do breakdowns and they've got no catchy sing-alongs. Instead they made sweaty, adulterous love to the stage for 60 minutes every night and forgot to call it in the morning. And now they've returned. For how long? Who knows. Maybe they'll disappear back into the ethers tomorrow. Until they return, Prey will do just fine.
Prey is out via Deathwish on October 21. Stream the entire thing below and pre-order it here. Planes are marauding the country this fall. Dates at the bottom.
October 26 - Chicago, IL @ Township
October 27 - Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
October 28 - Savannah, GA @ Dollhouse Productions
October 30 - Gainesville, FL @ The Wooly - THE FEST
October 31 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
November 1 - Nashville, TN @ The End
November 2 - St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
November 3 - Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street Collective
November 4 - Austin, TX @ Sound On Sound Fest
December 14 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
December 15 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Bar
December 16 - Reno, NV @ Studio On 4th
December 17 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
December 18 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
December 19 - Mesa, AZ @ Underground
December 20 - Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad