Gared O’Donnell

Band Of The Week: Blunt Razors

I love a good side project. More often than not, the side project allows the artist to explore a different side and see where that experiment goes. It’s quite interesting to hear this other side and experience something you aren’t used to hearing from that person. Which leads me to the band of the week, Blunt Razors. I’ve long been a fan of the band Planes Mistaken For Stars and when I heard that Gared O’Donnell and Neil Keener were working on new music that wasn’t going to be Planes material, I became very intrigued. While quarantined together throughout 2020 in Peoria, IL, they wrote and recorded a plethora of incredible songs. Sonically, some were enough of a departure from Planes Mistaken For Stars, that the pair felt it deserved a different name. And with that, Blunt Razors was conceived. Their debut release, Early Aught, is comprised of five gut-wrenching originals that have the grit and charm that Gared and Neil are known for. The two songs released so far, “Speeding” and “Amber Waves” show that there is a whole other level of creativity to these two talented writers. Their debut is out on November 20 (via Deathwish Inc).


Blunt Razors- Speeding:


Blunt Razors- Amber Waves:

You Might Have Missed: Planes Mistaken For Stars

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There are so many bands that are always under the radar that are far beyond great. These bands all tend to do it purely for the love, passion and desire to create. More often than not, these are the groups whose albums go on to influence and inspire countless other bands to form. One band that fits the former part of this equation is Planes Mistaken For Stars. This band is truly one of the best bands you probably missed over the years and when you really take a listen to them, you hear so many of your newer favorites in what they do. By mixing, rock with metal, post hardcore and punk, among others, Planes Mistaken For Stars breathed new life into the rock world and it’s many sub-genres. Over the course of their career they’ve released 4 full length studio albums (Fuck With Fire (2001), Up In Them Guts (2004), Mercy (2006) and Prey (2016), along with a slew of singles and EP’s (Knife In The Marathon (2000) and Spearheading The Sin Movement (2002).

I was first introduced to this band when a friend gave me the Spearheading The Sin Movement EP and from that point I was hooked. The first chance I got to see these guys live I jumped at the chance. I believe it was at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles but, I can’t remember who they played with. Their live show was intense and full of vigor. It’s something that is often still replaying in my mind. One of the coolest things about Planes Mistaken For Stars has always been their evolution. Rather than be tied any one genre, they’ve always explored different territories with a subtle approach. While listening to them you get all sorts of different elements from stoner rock, to space rock and even a bit of prog thrown in there. Not to mention that the rhythms, riffs, and tones emitting from former and current members really drives this ship. Lyrically and vocally is something else that makes them stand out. Gared O’Donnell has a real knack for writing very thoughtful and thought provoking words and melodies that are striking and makes his raspy voice come alive in a way that most singers in post hardcore/emo/rock bands could only wish for.

Planes Mistaken For Stars are a band that while overlooked, those that knew/know of them hold them in high regard because they are that damn good. Having  played among punk peers and hardcore heavyweights, and newer emerging acts, NOW, is as good a time as any to go listen to them get out there and see this band live. They are truly one of the best kept secrets in rock music and deserve to be applauded as such!

Fuck With Fire:

 

Up In Them Guts:


Mercy:

Prey:


The First Four Years (includes Knife In The Marathon and Spearheading The Sin Movement:

 

Anticipated Albums: Wear Your Wounds- Rust On The Gates Of Heaven

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I love side projects. Especially when they deviate from the style of music you’ve associated someone with for so long. Wear Your Wounds is one of my favorite side projects I’ve ever heard. Wear Your Wounds was created by Converge founder Jacob Bannon. Initially conceived as a solo project, it evolved into a five-piece band that often works with collaborating musicians. In 2017, the debut self titled double album was released followed closely by the even more experimental Dunedevil, which was also an accompaniment to Bannon’s abstract art book of the same name. Now, Wear Your Wounds, prepare to release their new album Rust on the Gates of Heaven (out July 12 via Deathwish Inc.).  The release marks the first time the official lineup of the band; Jacob Bannon (Converge), Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Unraveller, etc), Adam McGrath (Cave In, Nomad Stones, etc), Sean Martin (Twitching Tongues, ex-Hatebreed, ex-Kid Cudi), and Chris Maggio (ex-Trap Them, ex-Sleigh Bells, etc) have properly written and recorded together. It also features musicians Ben Chisholm (Chelsea Wolfe, White Horse) and Gared O’Donnell (Planes Mistaken For Stars, Hawks and Doves) collaborating throughout. Watch and or listen to the music video for the album’s eponymous first single now. Personally I can’t wait for this album to come out. So do yourself a favor and dive in to this great band and their work.

Wear Your Wounds- Ruse On The Gates Of Heaven:

 

 

WEAR YOUR WOUNDS, ON TOUR:
May 8  Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar *
May 9  Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
May 10  Toledo, OH @ Ottawa Tavern *
May 11  Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary *
May 12  Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop *
May 14  Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5 *
May 15  Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery *
May 16  Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Lounge *
May 17  Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus *
May 18  Boston, MA @ Sonia *
May 26  Seattle, WA @ Highline ^
May 27  Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge ^
May 28  San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop ^
May 29  Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite ^
May 30  Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room ^
May 31  San Diego, CA @ Casbah ^
June 1  Mesa, AZ @ Underground ^
* w/ Uniform
^ w/ Author & Punisher, Xasthur