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Big Takeover #81 Fall 2017
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Silverplanes - Gulfstream EP (Volume Unit)

29 October 2017

Silverplanes is the brainchild of Napa, California-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Aaron Smart, who has broken his debut project into three EPs produced by veteran rock producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, the Who). The five guitar-laden pop-rockers on Gulfstream are emotionally potent while still connecting at the gut level, offering a promising start for a series of releases that extends into 2018.

“Golden Age” breaks the coiled tension of its melancholy verse with a sky-splitting chorus. The song’s sonic roar and oceanic crash harken to heavy shoegaze heroes Catherine Wheel, with a solo that cribs from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “You Got Lucky.” The vibe of “Seeing Red” is bleary-eyed and punch-drunk, borrowing the blissful, somnambulant space-rock sway of Spiritualized. The odd-time “World Spins Round” lurches with disquieted energy and a 70s-rock guitar hook, joined to a chorus that fuses Matthew Sweet-styled shimmering pop and My Bloody Valentine’s jet engine roar.

The roots-rock ramble of “Train” is a wistful examination of a relationship getting by on phantom power and the pretense that things are okay. “Under the Sun” views a fragile but precious relationship from a different angle, as Smart insists that he’s done everything to preserve the union, even to the point of repeatedly putting his “head to the wall.”

 

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