Sometimes you stumble across a new band, and on a whim you check them out. It doesn’t always pay off, but in the case of Melbourne rockers, Planet of the 8’s, I’m glad to have found them.
For their second full length album, Tourist Season, Planet of the 8’s deliver a very riff heavy brand of stoner/desert rock – executed perfectly from the moment the record kicks off with “20 and 20 is 40”. Buzzsaw riffs, fuzzy bass, pounding rhythm and excellent vocals form the foundations of this bands sound.
“Green Lake” features all of those trademarks, but when Sullo takes his vocals into a higher range during the songs mid-section, it’s something special. Some very chilled atmospherics also serve to make this a standout track.
“Christopher Walken in the Jungle With the FKN Animals” might just be the greatest song title of all time. It’s a near eight and a half minute track, featuring some fantastic lead guitar and extremely weighty bass that is superb. “You You You” is driven by pounding rhythm and rumbling bass, but the main selling point is Sullo’s exceptional vocals here. He possesses a range that’s not often utilised in this genre of music.
“The Epic Space Adventures of the Intergalactic Guru” – aside from having another epic title, is a catchy and infectiously groovy track. There’s a certain bounce to it that’s hard to ignore. “Drive Through Jesus” brings an element of quirkiness to the bands sound. It’s kind of playful, but heavy – and contains more excellent lead vocals.
Lastly “Visions & Runaway S02E07” is another lengthy track, but it plays well, and never actually feels long in the tooth. On this track, Planet of the 8’s bridges the gap between Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. There’s plenty of riffs, but melody in equal measures.
Tourist Season is a fantastic album, and I now consider myself a fan of Planet of the 8’s.
Review by Shayne McGowan.