Way back in 2013, Greek outfit Three Way Plane got in touch and introduced us to themselves and their new EP Fire. It was a potential loaded indie/post punk infused proposition which was bitingly eclectic and imaginatively rampant suggesting that the 2004 formed band was ready to tap into attention far beyond their local success. They have not quite found that breakthrough since in a period which was assumedly busy for them but appearing quiet on the outside. Things might just be about to change though as the Athens outfit release their second album Your Kingdom, My Life and another collusion of sonic diversity and creative adventure.
Two years after forming the band released their first EP, Bright Days the first clue to the growing invention in their punk nurtured sound though it was their well-received debut album, give us something new to shout, which really stoked attention and eager support four years later; its success subsequently eclipsed by Fire. 2015 saw the band release a collection of remixes from songs out of their previous two offerings and the striking 7″inch single A Waltz For Unity & Love / New Destination. In hindsight, the latter was a definite tease of the new growth in sound and songwriting of vocalist/guitarist Stratos, bassist Giannis, and drummer Geo, who has left the band since the album’s recording; hints now impressively realised in Your Kingdom, My Life.
In some ways, the Three Way Plane sound has actually slimmed down its rich array of textures and flavours into something less overwhelming but more concentrated on its qualities, a sign of maturity easy to embrace. As opener Inner Warfare shows though it is still a web of styles and imagination which leaves predictability looking elsewhere for a home. The track initially waves a sonic lure in front of the listener, the guitar almost taunting before a couple more breaths sees rhythms strolling through ears with a knowing swagger as riffs sculpt their dance. That first slither of post punk bait returns to tempt as the song slows a touch to welcome the expression shaped vocals of Stratos. Simultaneously Giannis’ bass grumbles with a throaty growl, riffs again casting an eager scrubbing of the senses as Geo’s beats tenaciously swing at a body and imagination swiftly hooked by the song’s mix of indie rock and punk at times reminding of UK band Houdini.
It is a superb start soon matched by the more crazed and caustic exploits of No, I’m Not Sober. Again the bass is an irresistible lure, showing more mischief than attitude this time, a matching hue directing riffs and vocals as the track swings between revelry and hostility. There is a definite feel of The Cure and their Three Imaginary Boys entrance upon the world, an additional off-kilter and magnetic discordance in tone and touch which lights ears and personal instincts. With the guest manipulation of Kostis Maloutas on the Theremin extra pleasure, the track eventually makes way for the matching excellence of A Waltz For Unity & Love. Straight away guitars entice ears, courting attention with their weave of wiry hooks and flirtatious melodies. Darker hues come into play soon after as the track hits its vigorous stride as vocals share lyrical suggestion though it is the snare of flirtatious hooks and energy which rubber stamps an already done deal between song and pleasure.
Guitars and bass again make the first flirtation with ears as Get Off Your Hands steps forward, its more shadowy nature and physical trespasses infested with fiery melodies and infectious rhythms which respectively wind through and steer the enjoyable ship. There is that post punk essence again at play but more vocal within the following Xepiasakos Theme, an instrumental cruising in on a great Gang Of Four like dexterity in its rhythmic prowess which immediately has body and spirit dancing. The piece is a touch more reserved than its predecessors but a livelier persistence impossible to refuse or let physical reactions leave alone. Musically the song also reminds of eighties bands like Leitmotiv and French outfit Modèle Martial, an array of essences cast into a sonic Three Way Plane kaleidoscope which certainly has a great spicing of nostalgia.
With a similar eighties spicing to its seduction of catchiness and challenges, Checkmate is simply infection from start to finish; guitar hooks and brooding bass lures a devious incitement infesting limb and imagination with viral expertise while the following Silent embraces the senses in a more atmospheric wash of sound though it too does not skimp on addictive snares and seriously catchy twists. That raw ethereal climate solely takes over midway though, a sonic drifting across the imagination with an underlying tempestuousness which grows as shadows blossom. Once more The Cure come to minds at certain moments, the song more reflective of their second and third album period while again creating a proposal individual to the Greek outfit.
The more caustic and volatile essences of other songs has its head for Your Life ’08, the track an abrasive slice of hardcore shaped punk but with a rhythmic agitation and tenacity which ensures an infectious bullying of ears and lively thoughts is welcomed.
The album closes with Psychic Changes, a rich trespass of vocal dissent and sonic intrigue spun with a tide of gripping hooks and predacious rhythms into a melodic labyrinth growing darker and more ravenous with every layer spun. As the previous track, it is more of a challenge than earlier propositions, more of a slow burner but ultimately emerges as one of the most striking quests from the imagination and craft of Three Way Plane.
There are times when the body really feels like a puppet to Your Kingdom, My Life, unable to escape its infection carrying incitements, and never a moment when pleasure is not the fuel of the day. Whether the album will see Three Way Plane break into international attention time will tell, it has all the attributes, but it will certainly establish the band as one of most exciting adventures waiting their moment.
Your Kingdom, My Life is out now and available @ https://threewayplane.bandcamp.com/album/your-kingdom-my-life
Pete RingMaster 31/05/2017
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