REVIEW: Planetary Overdrive – “Planetary Overdrive”

Planetary Overdrive
Planetary Overdrive

Just a little over a year ago, Planetary Overdrive dropped their self-titled debut, a southern rock inflected album that aims at stadium rock guitar theatrics, but scaled for a stage nearby. I can’t tell you what they look like, any single member of this band, but you can easily imagine handlebar mustaches, long hair, and a staunch refusal to wear sleeves on t-shirts. While that may or may not be true, such is their musical aesthetic, which recalls the very best of Foreigner or Boston, albeit with a toned own emphasis on prog-rock elements; this is stripped down Lynyrd Skynyrd style wildness and they make no bones about this. Smoke to this, shake your fist to this, and definitely think about motorcycles and other images of masculine bad-assery. Or subvert the form and think about unicorns or whatever you might identify as feminine, because that’s equally awesome and balls out rowdy all the same.

So peep this: they open with a track called Party Weekend. That’s the tone they want to set. Think about your upcoming weekend folks, and know that Planetary Overdrive want you to think back and kick a beer, to smoke em’ if you got em’, the literal subject of Burnout. This album is basically that Juicy Fruit commercial, the one where you get your skis shined up and get loose during the summer. Are you going to ski? Fuck yeah! Are you going to probably cut class and sleep in! Most definitely! And drink a bunch of shitty garbage water beers! Oh yeah! That’s the Planetary Overdrive vibe, the everything at eleven pedal to the metal goofiness of the ride they want to take you on. It’s hard to say no to that.

This is a fun album that never takes itself too seriously, outside of the requisite shreds. There are elements of psych and stoner rock here, which account for some of the stronger moments here. The backing vocal harmonies are welcome, a bass/tenor exchange that creates a nice balance. Tracks like Along the Road or even Tennessee Sunset offer you a little less bombast and a little more thinking, nice reprieves in an otherwise unrelenting sea of sweet ass soloing and gang vocal style southern rock sing-alongs, albeit without any of the troublesome bits that haunt the genre (you know, like racist lyrics and stuff).

Listen below and celebrate one year of good times.