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