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Red Planet | We Know How it Goes | review | alternative | Lollipop

Red Planet

We Know How it Goes (Gearhead)
by Brian Varney

Falling under the heading of "least likely Gearhead release ever," Red Planet play peppy, synth-heavy new wave driven by bouncy, super-catchy songs that sound kinda sorta familiar. Opener "No Force" blatantly cops its main riff from Television's "See No Evil," but chirping synths and a melodic second guitar riff are perched atop it, so unless you're just a crank, you won't hold the lift against them. The same deal holds for the second song, "Blackout," which does similar things with the "Little Black Egg" riff. This sort of borrowing may bother some, but I'm of the opinion that recycling and outright theft has been part of rock music for as long as it's been around and has been the source of some of the finest rock music ever, so I'm more interested in what a band does with raw elements than where they got them. Where would Led Zeppelin be without blues songs to steal, after all?

Frankly, there are so many disparate elements in this bubbling cauldron that I can't begin to list them all. Red Planet choose wisely, and the resulting alloy, while unquestionably bearing recognizable traces of its source materials, manages to steer clear of mere impersonation. The clipped beats and synths scream "new wave," and the cheap fuzz-swathed guitar is an obvious nod to Nuggets garage (the only real connection this has to the usual Gearhead modus operandi), but the final product doesn't sound like either. This is why the best comparison I can make is to alphabetical neighbors Redd Kross. The two bands don't sound much alike, but they are similar in that they are able to blatantly beg, borrow, and steal ideas, riffs, even entire songs, from lots of different sources, cram it all together, and what comes out sounds kinda familiar in spots, but is also unmistakably their own.

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