Chicago band Plane makes it ridiculously easy to name-check Joy Division, New Order, and the Cure. Throughout the record, there are some cool melodic lead lines, even if they sound borrowed. The lead-off track, “Blood on the Waves,” has me running to the CD shelf to find which Cure song the guitar part reminds me of, but all the same, it's still a cool track that I could see playing at 4am in some dark night club. The title track has some unnerving melodic similarities to “The Age of Consent” by New Order. The refrain is “I see love in the future and the future is all mine,” and I’d like to believe that.
Edgars Legzdins sings in a gloomy, lazy way that comes off sounding like he’s either too cool or too disinterested to really put some grit or sweat into the material. This style never changes from one song to the next; I suppose I am just hoping for all the build-up to lead to some impassioned shouting.
The instrumental “God’s Ants” has grating marimba midi tones with muffled speaking and some “ahhs” passing as vocals, making this sound like a quick foray into World or New Age territory. But two tracks later is “Rundowners,” the second-to-last and my favorite song on the album. It’s the most catchy song, dare I even say jangly. The catchy vocal part repeats “you don’t stand a chance” which has Legzdins finally putting some shoulder behind the lyrics.
“Could you ask the ghost to leave,” the band inquires on the song “Blood on the Waves,” and this pretty much sums up for me how I feel about the record. Plane has a lot of promise, but the band needs to find a way to step out from behind the '80s giants that are haunting them, and put out a record that just sounds like Plane.