Planet Smashers Descent Into the Valley of the Planet Smashers

Planet Smashers Descent Into the Valley of the Planet Smashers
There's a certain comfort that comes with putting on a new Planet Smashers record for the first time ― those upstrokes, that brass, the never-ending party. It's been six years since we last heard from the Montreal ska stalwarts and though the gimmick is that they accidentally opened some time portal into the past and were found in an iceberg on the St. Lawrence with this completed album, the truth is that even without the cartoony shtick, they're inherently fun. And here they sound in top form, as they seem to every time we hear from them. Is it that ska-punk should never be anything other than a party and these guys are the masters of that? Aside from instant Smashers classics such as "The Hippopotamus," there's some surprise standouts, such as the hard bass on "Food Fight" or "My Obsession," a synth-/organ-laden love song that's sweeter than it should be in every respect. While we don't need an album's worth of these tracks, they prove a nice detour. (Stomp)