Planes Mistaken For Stars Mercy

Planes Mistaken For Stars Mercy
Photo: J Narcy
Gritty, unrefined post-punk that trashes around all over the lines that separate punk, hardcore, and good old rock’n’roll, Mercy is awash in spastic drumming, off-kilter riffs, and some of the finest throaty bellowing this side of Gainesville. The follow up to Up In Them Guts, Planes’ first attempt to act, in their words, as a "real band” with proper touring and promotion, this record seems poised to introduce the band to an even wider audience while compromising none of the balls-out dirtiness that has helped separate the band from some of their genre peers. From the very opening of the record, "One Fucked Pony,” the band seem to be drawing more from the stoner rock riffage of bands like Kyuss or Fu Manchu than their own screamo roots; though later tracks, such as "Never Felt Prettier,” demonstrate a no-frills punk aesthetic that acts as a counter-point to these musical repetitions. One of the most interesting sonic departures comes in the form of the closing "Pentinence,” a down-tempo acoustic song whose uncomfortable chords make for a suitable ending to this challenging release.

You’ve almost entirely abandoned screamo. Is it for the best? What do you think of the genre as of late? Guitarist Chuck French: Fuck "screamo.” Fuck "emo.” These terms once meant something specific to someone, but now they are just marketing points. If you think about how these terms came about, you’ll find that someone was really hurt or pissed or sad or whatever and they wrote some kick-ass songs. And they were so fucking good that they inspired an entire legion of kids to start bands that sounded like that, and that’s not a bad thing. The bad thing is when corporations start to catch on, and marketing terms like these start to pop up. At the point when terms such as these become household words is when they become moot. It’s punk rock evolution, and "the kids” have become brainwashed by corporations, and the essence of "screamo” and things like this has become watered down beyond recognition. So, yes we’ve completely abandoned them, and it feels wonderful to finally be free!

Ending the record with "Pentinence” seems like a ballsy choice. Why go with an acoustic number? You ride off into the sunset with your lover and a bottle of whiskey, get drunk as hell, and you go fuck the crap out of each other. (Abacus)