Punknews.org
The Planet Smashers - Unstoppable (Cover Artwork)

The Planet Smashers

The Planet Smashers: UnstoppableUnstoppable (2005)
Union Label Group

Reviewer Rating: 1
User Rating:


Contributed by: Tim-PunkInternationalTim-PunkInternational
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I've been known to say that Montreal's Planet Smashers are one of the last remaining great bands that ska still has to offer. Their 2003 album put a ska album into my regular rotation for the first time since the turn of the century, even. Well, no more. 2005's Unstoppable sees the band choke so bad.
iTunes StoreAmazon


I've been known to say that Montreal's Planet Smashers are one of the last remaining great bands that ska still has to offer. Their 2003 album put a ska album into my regular rotation for the first time since the turn of the century, even. Well, no more. 2005's Unstoppable sees the band choke so bad I have to look away.

Considering this band's consistency, "more of the same" was a perfectly reasonable expectation from their sixth full-length album. And, that's what the band tried to achieve, I speculate at least, but this time around they're not even pretending to have a written a new album. Every line sounds rehashed and self-plagiarised, owing to the fact that there's not a single catchy melody or half-decent sing-along. Far too many songs are tediously slow; aside from the cringeworthy and repetitive "Raise Your Glass," there's hardly anything uplifting to be found here. There's not even any chilled-out reggae tracks; it's all mid-tempo album-stuffing.

They don't sound like they're having fun anymore; they're on autopilot, pulling songs out of their asses because they've been doing ones just like them for so long they can get away with it. It works when I write term papers, but I expect better from bands I like.

[originally written for Punk International]

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Cobra Skulls - Sitting ArmyBouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer VacationLeft Alone - Left Alone Narrows - New DistancesDeep Sleep - Three Things at Once / Paranoid Futures [7 inch]Crime in Stereo - Is DeadGallows - Grey BritainLove You Moon - WaxwaneRonen Kauffman - New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye: Bands, Dirty Basements and the Search [book]Ninja Gun - Restless Rubes

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

4 stars, not 2

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

I just wrote the previous message and I forgot to add! Ejaculine rules!

Lots of love!

Moog!

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

Has the writter of this review seen planet in a show latly? They are clearly still having fun! And any ska fan will love this album even if its more of the same. Also, ska doesn't always have to be fast and upbeat like raise your glass budy, a slower album once in a while does no harm :-)

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

"To the guy who said he liked ska until he got to age 12....

Ya know, who cares how old you are when i comes to listening to the music you love. The opinons one has about music should be based on their own tastes. It shouldnt be about what age group listens to it, or how trendy that genre is, ect....who gives a fuck what others say....Listen to the music you love!!!"

PUNK POLICE!
The guy was obviously joking kiddo.
Score's for Pig Destroyer.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

To the guy who said he liked ska until he got to age 12....

Ya know, who cares how old you are when i comes to listening to the music you love. The opinons one has about music should be based on their own tastes. It shouldnt be about what age group listens to it, or how trendy that genre is, ect....who gives a fuck what others say....Listen to the music you love!!!

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

"I agree with you but Rx bandits, Slackers and especially Bedouin Soundclash are awesome. But I still got love for the Smashers. Theirs still good ska around, and a lot of good ol' ska to listen too like Desmond Dekker, Skatalites, Melodians, Ethiopians, Bad manners, Selecter, The Beat...... But I'm still hoping for a new Hepcat cd...maybe one day!

-ejaculine"

Last time I saw Hepcat, they played three new songs. That was a year ago, but I hope there's still more.

Score is for RxBandits.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

I used to like ska, but then I turned 12.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

I agree with you but Rx bandits, Slackers and especially Bedouin Soundclash are awesome. But I still got love for the Smashers. Theirs still good ska around, and a lot of good ol' ska to listen too like Desmond Dekker, Skatalites, Melodians, Ethiopians, Bad manners, Selecter, The Beat...... But I'm still hoping for a new Hepcat cd...maybe one day!

-ejaculine

Anonymous (August 1, 2005)

How about the Slackers, Rx Bandits, Bedouin Soundclash, Suicide Machines, and Dead 60's...
There's still some half-decent ska coming out if you just know where to look. Is anyone paying attention?

-Not-To-Regret

Anonymous (August 1, 2005)

My Chemical Romance basically gets a handjob from the reviewers here but The Planet Smashers get spat on.

Fuck that.

Crookedsuperhero (August 1, 2005)

Obviously the fake Chinatown, but regardless:

The Mad Caddies are crap, and just about any band mentioned on this page is lightyears ahead of them.

Anonymous (August 1, 2005)

This band is almost as overrated as Big D and the Kids Table. Seriously, the Mad Caddies wipe the floor with all of the current ska bands in the world. They're just so much more original.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (August 1, 2005)

Wow I can't beleive you would give this one star. It may not be there best cd but it's still better than most ska and better than all the emo and hardcore crap that's out these days. This site needs more ska reviews, I'm so tired of seeing reviews of emo and hardcore. Why wont this trend end already!??

-ejaculine

Anonymous (August 1, 2005)

For sure not their best album, but still deserve way more than 1 star.

Anonymous (August 1, 2005)

chill out brahs, the only waves i know of our the ones i just surfed.

Crookedsuperhero (July 31, 2005)

There are very few debates, and there are very few ska reviews anymore.

:(

skanknsmile (July 31, 2005)

i like how every ska review there is a debate about the origins of ska and the "waves". stop giving two shits, the bands dont.

Fuzzy (July 31, 2005)

Dude, it's an early sunday morning. I've got nothing to do BUT read music websites and relax. After all, I spent five days a week leading volunteers building houses for people who can't afford a market price home with Habitat for Humanity. I think I'm afforded a few minutes of random internerdery every once in a while.

Anonymous (July 31, 2005)

I hope you spend as much time analzying the important things in your life as you do figuring out which f'n generation of ska a certain band is. Get a life.

Fuzzy (July 31, 2005)

Oh, and Big D started in 1995, so not quite "after" the third wave.

Fuzzy (July 31, 2005)

To the guy who was ranting about Ska, you couldn't be less informed. The explosion of the 3rd wave was interesting, because it happened simultaneously in several places, and that resulted in a lot of bands with similar sounds, but each area generally had a different element emphasised. The East Coast/NYC/DC sound was much much more rooted in the two tone sound and jazz (while including elements of punk), Boston's drew from the HC scene, and the west coast drew from the strong punk roots there (as well as the absurdly sunny outlook on life).
People have tried to retroactively wipe out bands that they don't like (or think "sold out") out of the Ska scene, but back in the day, a bill with Mephiskapheles, the Toasters and the Bosstones wouldn't have been an impossibility, but rather a great representation of what the Ska scene was.
And if you want to really split hairs, then "nothing sounds like ska", as the Slackers are one of the few bands with a real 50/60's traditional sound or obvious influence.
In short, stop being an elitist, enjoy the goddamned music.

Anonymous (July 31, 2005)

big d and the kids table > *

Anonymous (July 31, 2005)

Christ, you people know nothing about ska. Less Than Jake, MM Bosstones, Catch 22, Big D etc. are ska-punk or punk-ska however you like it. Fun bands though they may be, their songs are so far removed from the ska sound that they may as well just call them punk with horns, as that's a much closer approximation. A horn section and cliched upstroke verses does not a ska band make.

3rd wave ska would be Skinnerbox, Mephiskapheles, The Adjusters and the Slackers. These bands moved the music forward significantly. If you're looking for a '4th wave' of ska, I would probably look to the UK and Europe as they still have a vibrant scene going on. Streetlight, Big D, LTJ have moved well beyond the punk-ska scene of the 90's, at best paying a cursory glance towards ska but focusing in other areas.

Punk-ska was a lark, it was fun, but if a punk-ska never forms again, I'll be fine. As far as I'm concerned, the genre didn't need to go any farther than Slapstick.

darkstarm (July 30, 2005)

the only thing i could see coming as a "fourth wave" would be this whole new hardcore/ska that's coming about. but as mentioned before there aren't enough bands actually playing it. big d was heading in that direction with gipsy hill but their newest release is back to more of the punk/ska. other bands like that are flaming tsunami's, a billion ernies and folly. however that's three bands.

Anonymous (July 30, 2005)

every time mustard plug brought these guys to town, they were hailed as the second coming of christ, but they never really blew me away. Too little tempo deviation and their hooks didn't catch me. ...unlike the plug whose songs can be picked up and shouted back at them by the 2nd chorus.

-Ken

Anonymous (July 30, 2005)

i star? you guys are fucking deaf. stop listening to music.

Anonymous (July 30, 2005)

Streetlight and Big D were formed after the third wave, but are rooted in it. SM is supposed to sound like Keasbey Nights-era Catch 22 (half those guys are in the band). Big D sounds a little harder than Less than Jake did, but there were bands back in the day that did that too (Voodoo Glow Skulls maybe?) To make a fourth wave the sound would have to be a real departure and a lot of people would have to be playing it.

Anonymous (July 30, 2005)

I've seen these guys live a few times and each time they play, the sax player hooks up a wireless mic to his horn and kind of walks back and forth on stage. He doesn't do anything but slowly stalk back and forth while playing. For some reason that really irritates me. It was like watching a wind up toy...maybe trying to hypnotize the crowd?

Anonymous (July 30, 2005)

I think it's a pretty good album.......

Medley (July 29, 2005)

Tim's got it all wrong. This album's better than Mighty. It's shorter and more consistent, with enough variety that it doesn't get boring. There are a couple songs that could've been cut, and the lyrics range from alright to embarrasingly bad, but for the most part Unstoppable feautures a lot of upbeat ska tunes with some great choruses.

DouglasTheFishie (July 29, 2005)

how the fuck can you say that you like their old material and then say you dont like (what sounds like) a remake, hmmm puzzling

Anonymous (July 29, 2005)

Don't expect this record to change your life and you will be fine with it.

The Planet Smashers still put on one of the funnest shows around, though. 2004 with The Aquabats and Lederhosen Lucil was a total riot. I saw it twice.

Anyone else notice how much faster The Planet Smashers play their songs live? Not in the bad way, either (Catch 22). Fun, fun band.

ChokingVictim (July 29, 2005)

I really don't like the vocalist for Big D. His singing bothers me, and the lyrics, well...aren't that great. But the band is talented, and that's enough for me to listen to them.

This CD is pretty good too. Nothing ground-breaking, but a fun album, anyway.

TheOneTrueBill (July 29, 2005)

I've said it before, but Big D would be so much better if their singer wasn't so whiney sounding at times. Seriously.

adam (July 29, 2005)

I don't think so, I'd consider a new wave when we get a major shift in style / sound along with a critical mass of attention. There were big changes between 60s Jamaica, 80s Britain and 90s USA / Canada. Streetlight and Big D don't amount to a "wave" in my mind.

-adam

sickboi (July 29, 2005)

Question -

Would bands like Streetlight and Big D be considered "4th wave?"

They don't have the same "punk" sound to them that bands like LTJ and the Bosstones had.

Anonymous (July 29, 2005)

A let down after Mighty, but by no means is it only one star.

moneenerd (July 29, 2005)

yeah its def not their best, but definately deserves more than a 1 star.

Anonymous (July 29, 2005)

It's not their best, but it's not that bad. Most people who enjoy the band will probably get a few kicks out of it, there just aren't many standout tracks.

They're still really great guys who are awesome live, especially if you catch them in Montreal.

adam (July 29, 2005)

Mighty review: http://www.punknews.org/reviews.php?op=albumreview&id=1980

I'm still undecided on this one. I probably wouldn't be as harsh as Tim was though.

-adam

theundergroundscene (July 29, 2005)

the mighty mighty bosstones were the best 3rd wave ska band

yep you heard it here first

and if you say less than jake or catch 22 is better, you are a mongoloid

Crookedsuperhero (July 29, 2005)

Yep, pretty much sums it up.

Shame.

Anonymous (July 29, 2005)

Wow, after how great Mighty was... too bad. Haven't heard the album but the review is enough I guess.

Ditto. "Mighty" and "No Self Control" have been my favorite PS albums. Though I haven't heard their new effort, I'm still interested enough to hear the album and see why it got a 1.

Ramo
(Oh well, they're still cool live)

Anonymous (July 29, 2005)

Harsh review, I still like it. Granted I tend to listen to Giants and the title track and not much else.

ElVaquero (July 29, 2005)

Wow, after how great Mighty was... too bad. Haven't heard the album but the review is enough I guess.

Psychoos231 (July 29, 2005)

OUCH. Mighty had way too many songs to hold my interest but these guys are still pretty good

Anonymous (July 29, 2005)

I concur i found this album to be very diffrent from previous releases and diffrent sure musically it's pretty similar stuff but I mean consistency is not necassarily a bad thing. The real place where there's improvement and growth is the lyrics except for Raise your glass they've dropped the"we're a goofy ska band" routine. and there's more substance behind what matt sings I just wish he diden't do away with the wit completly and wrote more songs lyrically akin tothe No Control album. Though I do definitly agree that it is not as memorable as past releases but I geuss it can't always be a "super porno orgy party"

stevejonestherealbones (July 29, 2005)

i never bought what these guys were selling...i always thought it was kinda generic

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Contests

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go