From Plan to Progress - Ink Stains & Incidents (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

From Plan to Progress

Ink Stains & Incidents (2010)

Fond of Life / No Reason

A ton of fairly boring and rehashed skatepunk albums still come in through to Punknews, believe it or not. (I guess that's not that far-fetched.) So it's nice to have Brighton, UK's From Plan to Progress and their sophomore full-length, Ink Stains & Incidents which, despite its ca. 2003 title (remember when every pop-punk band titled their record Noun & Noun?), is a pretty refreshing release given its subgenre's usual limitations. Because seriously, even getting a decent release is a stretch these days.

Although opener "Product of the Past" sounds like it's biting riffs from some Anti-Flag song ("911 for Peace", or something) at first, it picks up with some more technical instrumentation and the tempo changes make it more interesting. It's a fair preview of what's to come: some generic moments interspersed into an otherwise pretty cool melodic punk track.

The band definitely carries a dark tone throughout the album, but coupled with the fact they don't always stick to typical skatepunk pacing, it keeps things fresh. It seems like there's a modest hook embedded in every track when the record first begins, and though that feeling fades after a while, it's an impressive start. Other standouts include "MMV", the half-time chorus in "Audi Alteram Partem", the flangey guitars in "Functional Malfunctions Functioning Functions", the Strung Out-esque shredding in "The Acceptance of Fate" and the almost-epic buildup to kick off closer "Curtain Call".

One thing, however: Ink Stains & Incidents is 17 tracks and almost 47 minutes long, and while it's relatively ambitious and creative, there's not enough of those daring motions–vocals are pretty one-dimensional; production is punchy, but not very dynamic–to make it such a compelling effort for that running time. Especially for its style.

Still, from artwork to sound to execution, this is well-done skatepunk that doesn't rehash needlessly or bore entirely. From Plan to Progress named their band right.

Product of the Past
Audi Alteram Partem
No Need for Transparency
Curtain Call