People in Planes - Gung Ho for Info

Tim Miller 12/06/2009

Rating: 3.5/5

According to the information I can bothered to find - ironic, given its title - this EP is, despite the promo CD, a digital release only. In truth, it's a poor excuse for a release - a radio edit and two unreleased B-sides from the previous album's sessions - but actually it serves as a surprisingly bold and intriguing introduction to People in Planes, for me at least, a Cardiff-based five-piece.

The radio edit is 'Last Man Standing', a widely-known track from the last album Beyond the Horizon; a sprawling dirty rock song straight out of mid-west US. Yet from five Cardiff lads. Strange. Its broody, measured one-note verses crash into increasingly bold choruses, but without being pretentious or grand. The gravelly but attuned vocals sit well with the bluesy, scuzzy rock, and the following song's harmonies only go to confirm this. 'Barracuda' demonstrates a more upbeat blues lick, a bouncy rocker heavy on distortion, something like Midlake in cahoots with a late nineties Gomez. It's that sort of rock sound that's effortlessly likeable, pleasantly familiar rather than overly. The drawling second b-side 'Baked' lacks the same sort of conviction in substance, all lazy guitar echoes, before employing more of that crashing fuzzy rock that sounds anything but British.

Chances are this EP will go more under the radar than the people in plane AF 447 (too soon? - too good a joke to miss), but for those who have a moment to indulge it, it's well worth a listen. For clamorous, bold and steady rock, with a distinctly Midwest twang but from a British perspective, People in Planes deserve a look in.