Having been richly engaged by their 2018 released debut album, New York Howl, there was natural intrigue towards its successor and one certainly inflamed by the recent singles that NYC outfit LONDON PLANE have uncaged to seduce ears and the imagination before it. Each offered glimpses of a new breath and adventure in the band’s sound, a varied selection of suggestions which hungrily hooked our attention and made their sophomore full-length keenly anticipated.
Leaping upon Bright Black as soon as we could, that promise and suggestiveness of those leading tracks was swiftly proven and more. The album is quite simply one of the biggest treats of the year so far, a rich and bold venture of sound and enterprise which burrowed under the skin in no time and with increasing virulence by the listen.
New York Howl was a collection of pop songs with a post punk shadow; the last a hue and creative tension which LONDON PLANE has now brought to the fore of their sound and new album yet without defusing the pop infectiousness in their songwriting and imagination. Yet that still does not give the full picture, Bright Black turning like a kaleidoscope of flavours and essences within its tenebrific body whilst embracing the anxieties and insecurities of these recent times, intimate and observational, to add to its Avant-ingenuity.
The sextet of David Mosey (guitar and vocals), Jessica Cole (vocals), Bryan Garbe (drums), Grant Parker (bass), Julian Tulip (synths) and Kristofer Widholm (guitar) took no time in gripping and exciting our attention within Bright Black, its opening title track immediately rapping on the same with punchy beats and a snarl graced bassline. A surf kissed swing soon breaks free, those post punk nurtured rhythms lit by a psych glistening as the voices of Mosey and Cole unite. It is a rich web of tempting flowing with instinctive catchiness and drama, a theatre of enterprise greedily devoured
The Darker You quickly follows casting calm but intrigue soaked rock coaxing which is soon entwined by the melodic wires of the guitars. Again vocals and harmonies collude in escalating the captivation, the song’s pop rock stroll as provocative as its weave of sound and lyrical rumination while Come Out Of The Dark crafted the same depth of captivation in aligning indie rock and goth pop inclinations within its prism of light and shadows, emotively and physically. Cole’s voice is a beacon in its own right within the song’s sunny yet shadow lit body, a hope carrying lure from the song’s dark isolation within a track which as its predecessor bears a latter eighties March Violets hue with the second equally carrying a Primitives essence in its jangle.
A Tones on Tails scent bubbles in the skin of next up Watch That Madman Go, the track calmly but firmly setting its addiction stoking agenda as rhythms prowl and melodies entwine the senses. Again an eighties breath emerges as the track reveals a Thompson Twins-esque indie pop impulse, yet as in all tracks it is soon defined by LONDON PLANE individuality and imagination which Homocosmicus equally revels in. The song is a serenade with Cole again rich captivation within a song just as ably persuasive, its gothic countenance and creative drama magnetically invented and crafted by guitars and keys as rhythms manipulatively roam.
The Bauhaus kilned exploits of Francesco had us swinging like a puppet upon its creative orchestration immediately after. The track is superb, Mosey’s animated croon exploiting the manipulation of keys and guitars and a bass line which had every muscle within the body twitching. Its dancefloor fertility is unstoppable as too its dark drama, the virulence of the song such that it makes the Covid virus look lazy.
Calm descends as The Wish follows, Cole again serenading ears as guitars stroke the senses within denser atmospheric suggestion. It is a track with seventies meets modern progressive pop consternation and Morricone inspired adventure, an essence of nostalgic which is also embraced by its successor, Electric Clock, a sixties pop echoing jaunt with a XTC meets B-52’s swing to its joy and another which had us bouncing like its plaything.
In turn, When We Were Right nagged and enticed with its own individual prowess, its electric current fuzzy and movement voracious yet as infectious and rousing as anything within the release. Its post punk/gothic punk predation and spirit simply proved irresistible just as the funky exploits of Gold Soul where darkly coated intrigue introduces a song which soon springs into contagious action, its jangle and effervescent movement another body prompting spark with a Shriekback meets Tom Tom Club tempting icing on its lust inducing cake.
Completed by the dancefloor exhausting Francesco (Italiano), an individual but just as body and passions consuming version of the earlier track, Bright Black is a masterpiece of galvanic light and dark invention. Emotively and lyrically the album is just as potent and compelling as it is in its physical prowess and creative manipulation, a record which continues to have us drooling on a daily almost hourly basis at times even as new proposals to explore stack up.
Bright Black is out now via Declared Goods; available @ https://londonplane.bandcamp.com/album/bright-black
Pete RingMaster 07/07/2022
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