Planchettes are from New Orleans and play good old rock n roll. Prepare to take yourself back to the 60s, the Shadows, Chuck Berry, Duane Eddy and all that, and add a bit of skiffle and a few other things here and there.
Although “Snow Pig”, the opener, is exactly as described above, the next one “Mourning Sun” has a bit of John Lydon about the vocals. But that twanging guitar still takes us back 50 years. I can picture Hank Marvin and the Shadows turning in unison at the seminal moment. One of the great things about this is its attitude. I reflected on this as I listened to “Wet Graves”. It has a hypnotic beat, a chunky guitar line with many added touches including a strong solo. I could have managed without the vocals to be honest but they’re ok and I guess part of the attitude. The vocals are strange though. It’s as if the singer is somewhere in the background pumping out his vibe. There’s something bluesy about them, but all the time I’m getting hooked in by those guitars and their dreamy, hooky vibe, complete with a bit of feedback on the title track. I’m sure this is fun in a live setting.
“She’s So Violent”, which effectively starts the second half – the B side I suppose – is much more hard hitting. It’s still rock n roll, but heavier and reminded me a bit of the heavier end of the Beatles. “Death in Bloom”, one of my favourites on this album, takes us back to the rockabilly but in a psychedelic way. The underlying riff of “Empress of Fools” reminded me of the Shadows’ “Apache” but there’s an interesting twist as the vocals take on a rough edge, and the song takes an instrumental course. It just sucks you in, and you want to move. It’s another irresistible track. I don’t know whether Planchettes were subjecting me to a psychedelic trip or what, but “Everyone Else” brought up a vivid division of watching one of those BBC4 programmes where they unearth grainy footage of experimental, later to be established bands playing through misty, heavy vibes. It means something but you don’t know what. The important thing is that this takes you to another wall. “La Fin du Monde” is then more conventional rockabilly but with colourful vocal lines. And with a proper shuffling bit of rock n roll to finish, “Angel’s Wing” provides the perfect end.
I don’t normally go round listening to 1960s stuff, not just because it’s before my time, but there is something magical about that twanging guitar sound. I liked “The Truth”. It grabbed me. It’s retro but there’s something very fresh about these songs.
(9/10 Andrew Doherty)