Plane Without A Pilot - It's About Time (Cover Artwork)

Plane Without A Pilot

It's About Time (2008)

R-dub Recordings

A mere three years have passed since the debut of Plane Without A Pilot's It's About Time. It is common for those familiar with the pop-punk sub-genre to resentfully recognize it as an overplayed intonation without any variety. Probably not very surprising that people would think that since pop-punk bands such as Simple Plan and Sum 41 made it large, bringing a rather boyish, adolescent feel to the music. Some pop-punk acts from the early 2000s have practically splurged the common pop-punk stereotype: The high school boy with over-gelled hair and a nasal voice singing about being on the bottom of the social ladder (Anyone recognize the Bowling For Soup reference?).

However, it doesn't take much of an open mind to understand the impressiveness of Plane Without A Pilot. The punky, yet suave vocals, the slightly blunt, yet abstracted lyrics, and even the instrumentation which is noticeably catchy and basic, while still bringing a significant amount of emotion (Trying to stay away from the word "Emo-ness"). This style can be compared to acts such as Fall Out Boy and blink-182.

Plane Without A Pilot can also be complimented for actually putting the punk in pop-punk. To clarify, some songs off this album have a rather similar sound to raw-sounding real punk bands such as the Lower Class Brats and the Casualties. The song "Never Know" is probably that ideal example. Raw, natural sounding distorted power chords, clanky bass, a catchy fast drum beat and let's not forget, the plain-spoken and angry lyrics. Although I am hesitant to call this song, and "Just Let It Go", real punk, both songs do provide the classic punk elements.

Of course, this band also exercises the pop from pop-punk. Listen to tracks such as "Giving Up" and "One Way Ticket," and you'll still find the rather common subject matter of a guy proving to a girl that he is the one for her. I must say that during this poppier approach, they manage to keep a certain likability, and not just from the charming, emo-influenced vocals. As I touched on before, they use a slightly more blunt form of lyrics, while still knowing how to abstract the feeling and still reaching out to the listener. They keep a good balance in the two.

All in all, a great pop-punk band that shows an accomplishment in straying from the classic pop-punk stereotype and representing a more original and likable sound. It's good to be seeing more originality from this sub-genre these days, also being achieved by other bands such as McFly and All Time Low. Plane Without A Pilot is definitely a group deserving of the utmost attention. This San Diego, Calif.-based group definitely has my acclaim and recommendation.