Friday, May 04, 2012

CD of the Day, 5/4/12: Didn't Planet-We're Going Nowhere

You're reading this site for one reason: to discover new music. But you're not representative of the music-consuming population as a whole. Most people take comfort in the familiar, and when out on the town they'd rather hear covers of known songs than original compositions. This is the dilemma for bands like Boston's Didn't Planet, who have a creative knack but need to make ends meet by playing covers. We're Going Nowhere is their lament, a concept album about a cover band. Like last year's excellent concept album by Meyerman about playing in a power pop band, it's great tunes that hold the concept together and ultimately make it more than the sum of its parts.

Didn't Planet's sound here is somewhere between Fountains of Wayne and Weezer, with the just the right amount of smartass those bands are known for. This becomes readily apparent as the album opens with the band's reworking of the Fat Albert theme as a way of introduction. For those of a certain age, hearing "na na na, gonna have a good time" brings back the memories. The driving "Maryann(e)" recalls the poppier side of Green Day; the title track rocks while detailing their plight, and it's almost obligatory that a power pop album of this kind have a track called "California".

Although its first 40 seconds are a recording of a voicemail, "Bitter" is one of the album's highlights - a power ballad of sorts that asks "have you ruined any new songs recently?". Elsewhere, "Over You" and "Adam" are highly melodic rockers, and the country-inflected "Someday I Might" closes out the album in wistful fashion. It's nice to see ambition meet execution, and these guys have learned enough from playing those covers to make a sound of their own worth covering.

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PBSlim said...

Great review! Absolute Powerpop clearly get's the concept!

JAWS said...

While I haven't heard the album yet, I have heard Didn't Planet live in many venues ranging from Plymouth to Boston. Their original tunes are clever and infectious, and lend themselves to singing along, especially after one has heard them a few times. No worries that their music is too saccharine, however. Absolute Pop's comment that Didn't Planet has "just the right amount of smartass" is right on!