Out of Montclair, The Planet You describes their music as “hyperbolic jazzmo,” and their eponymous LP comes across as the love child of free jazz and post-punk. With a fresh, improvised feel and clever track titles like “yloponoM” and “Posilutely,” this is clearly a band that loves what they do and would never think of making music as work.
“Porque No Los Dos?” takes a few seconds to ease the listener in before letting loose with hungry bass lines and slick percussion, guitar that will not quit and the dissonant vocals that come and go across the tracks. While the lyrics consistently augment the music, the band avoids overreliance on vocals, saying only what they want to say and no more.
Using syncopated phrasing and typically punk-rock delivery, “yloponoM” shows just what The Planet You can do with those lyrics. Strong imagery pervades the LP: “New Jersey/It grew fast like peonies/Poor for soil but it’s not what it seems/Pennsylvania/It flew by like June bees/It slithered right toward me/Oh, hell.” These are poetically sophisticated songs, as seen in “Noia”: “Religions with decisions wishes for/The fishes to take land, breathe, and stand.”
The band doesn’t depend solely on either their musical chops or their songwriting abilities, though, but takes the time to showcase both. “Cursed” and “Burial Ground” are entirely instrumental, the one a riotous celebration that shows exactly how much fun The Planet You has with what they do; the other a reprieve from the energy—a breath, all soft and electronic and moody.
Then they take us right back into it with “Idhissba!” which starts out all bluster and energy, and ends up introspective and questioning. “The Sky Is In Your Room” brings together all the elements of this hyperbolic jazzmo LP, making it feel like an exploration of moods, a reprise of everything we’ve just heard.
The Planet You is an earnest, exploratory LP from a band that seems to take their music seriously but not themselves—which is as it should be. Check it out on Bandcamp and Spotify, available now for your listening pleasure.
Carrie is N.J. Racket's copy editor and contributor of many album and EP reviews. She also has a puppy named Halo and loves Mac N Cheese.