Taking elements of rock, baggy and even Britpop, Pluto is a Planet give us a different view of Shoegaze, but one which remains completely satisfying.
Out now on Bandcamp, via Shore Dive Records is the debut ep, ‘Dying Every Second’ from Australian Dreampop/Shoegaze/Synth band, Pluto Is A Planet. The EP opener ‘Binary’ is a track which wavers in a hazy ambience, before being catapulted into noisy guitar Shoegaze yet underpinned by a Dancy, Baggy Beat. This tune, with its rhythms, recalls stars of the ‘Madchester’ Indie Scene (The) Happy Mondays and the slick beats-orientated bangers of Neo-Baggy band, The Twang. There’s also the warm Shoegaze shimmer of bands from the original wave of Shoegaze, Ride spring to mind.
What Pluto Is A Planet do is build on this sound with their own very creative ideas. Little sound effects and swirls, with the vocals part Glam-era Bowie, part Spacemen 3, caught up in a psychedelic cocoon.‘Dying Every Second’ is a Psychedelic ballad with ethereal sounding guitar and keys, with a smooth bass and drum groove, with tiny flavours of UK Indie giants The Charlatans. The vocals are more pronounced on this track, having an unhurried delivery, with hints of a Showman like-persona, sounding at times like a space-bound crooner.
‘Formations’ has a much more synth-led and ‘retro-club’ feel to the previous two tracks. There are atmospheric synths and watery, atmospheric effects abounding, forging a Keys-led, New Order style riff with futuristic electronic beats. It’s a superb, midpoint instrumental, which ends with spacy Brian Eno keys.
Following on, ‘Play Me’ starts with a retro ‘8 Bit’ Electronica sound before an Acid Jazz and Trip-Hop style track bursts forth. Soulful female vocals weave effortlessly throughout the track, inhabiting and informing the direction it plays. The music backing is wisely minimalist, yet distinctive, giving the vocals space to shine and sparkle.
‘Stand Behind’ is a tune which flirts with a DreamPop ambience, conjuring up a warm sounding sunny guitar-led pop tune. The vocals wash around effects and complement the Sun-drenched shimmy of the guitar. This tune is expansive, with the large drum sound and meandering guitar sometimes nodding to Sonic Youth, but a distinctive, ethereal identity is preserved.
Album closer ‘These Days’ finishes the ep, a vocal, guitar and beats driven track, with the essence and power of stadium bands such as Muse. This tune has a massive musical drive, pushes ‘Dying Every Second’ to a gently-fuzzy guitar feedback drenched and softly flowing synthy end.