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The Planet Smashers - Descent into the Valley of... (Cover Artwork)

The Planet Smashers

The Planet Smashers: Descent into the Valley of...Descent into the Valley of... (2011)
Stomp

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If Catch 22's 2003 full-length Dinosaur Sounds was the paradigm of an antiquated genre gone far past its prime, the Planet Smashers' similarly themed 2011 LP should be called The Big Bang. For the most part, the Planet Smashers rode through the third wave on gimmicks and joke songs rather than an.
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If Catch 22's 2003 full-length Dinosaur Sounds was the paradigm of an antiquated genre gone far past its prime, the Planet Smashers' similarly themed 2011 LP should be called The Big Bang.

For the most part, the Planet Smashers rode through the third wave on gimmicks and joke songs rather than any jawdropping musicianship. Numbers like "Super Orgy Porno Party" and "Coolest Guy in the Whole World" were amusing, and occasionally catchy, but it wasn't really until the band's 2005 effort Unstoppable that they started to break from the mold.

Descent into the Valley ofâ?¦ is a regression to their days of pre-maturity. With songs like "Food Fight!!!," "I'm OK if You Want to Party," "UPS of America" and "Until You Go Away (Triple Baconator)," it's clear the Planet Smashers weren't interested in pursuing another more serious album a la Unstoppable.

Despite the thematics, the Planet Smashers still churn out some relatively effortless danceable third wave ska. Catchy hornwork punctuates goofy tracks like "The Hippopotamus" and "Looking Good," while "My Obsession" weaves an echoing Moog through its rather heartfelt chorus.

There are a couple throwaway tracks like "UPS of America" and the muddy punk of "Food Fight!!!" which has the album's worst lyrics: "Dump your lunch on someone's head / Flip the table, wreck the spread / Chuck a steak and throw some stew / I don't care if I get hit by you." But there are still enough quality tracks like "I Believe You" and "Something Special" to carry the weight of those that aren't as listenable.

Descent into the Valley of the Planet Smashers may not be as even or all-around enjoyable as its predecessor, but for those looking for some carefree ska with traces of caveman rock (and who isn't looking for that?), the Planet Smashers have added another decent entry to their discography.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
glasspipemurder (January 28, 2012)

"The Catch-22 blast at the beginning of this review bummed me out."

Totally did not mean that to be a dig at 'Dinosaur Sounds.' I actually really liked that album, too. I was just referring to the theme and the concept of 'dinosaur' to mean something (ska in this case) being no longer popular/relevant.

Skibz777 (January 27, 2012)

I fully agree with the below comment, and I'm not even that big a fan of Catch 22. It's easy to understand the hate considering ska-punk's characteristic emphasis on repetition and regression, but yes, those were surprisingly refreshing and original records.

reedaretheunion (January 27, 2012)

The Catch-22 blast at the beginning of this review bummed me out. Dinosaur Sounds explored a whole new sound for them. If they had made Keasby Nights pt 2, I would agree completely, but they didn't. Tomas went his way and they took the opportunity to evolve. The record is fresh, unique, and there are songs that remind me of everything from Big Band to Motown to Elvis Costello.
I guess I've just never understood the hate. They changed vocalists three times, and every time they made it meaningful. Never copping out and rehashing the same sound with a new singer.

Skibz777 (January 27, 2012)

I always liked The Planet Smashers because they were one of the few North American third wave bands which didn't boast a predominant punk influence, but I agree their "humor" was never one of their better elements, let alone one to place any kind of emphasis on. Why is it that so few ska bands can successfully integrate humor into their lyrics? Subtlety is key. But I digress.

This album is fucking terrible, which is quite disheartening since I greatly enjoyed 'Unstoppable' and 'No Self Control' (and, for that matter, all of their albums sans the amateurish self-titled debut), but hey, if it will bring them out to the US in a promotional tour, I'm all for it. They'll have my money when it comes to a ticket.

facetofacereunion08 (January 27, 2012)

Too bad, I love Unstoppable

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