Local band PLVNET is working on a fireworks display of a release
PLVNET (that’s “planet” to you and me) is a band I’ve been trying to write about for a couple of months now. I say “trying,” because despite my best intentions something always seems to interfere (illness, shifting deadline, time-sensitive material, etc.). The band has been very patient with these setbacks, while I have started wondering whether or not fate decreed this article wasn’t to be.
Even now I have to wonder if maybe the battery in my laptop is going to explode before I can finish typing. On the other hand, maybe it isn’t that fate didn’t want me to write about PLVNET so much as it wanted me to wait just a little while longer.
In the interim, the band has completed a grueling East Coast tour and started recording some hot new tracks that may form the basis of their next album. In other words, I was going to write about a good band—now I get to write about a great band.
The band clearly has a wide variety of influences, both individual artists and genres, but my first impression was that the Foo Fighters DNA has left the most recognizable mark. That’s high praise, by the way. A band could do much worse than have some similarities to the Foo Fighters. “Similarities” is a key here; the band is not a clone of, cover of or tribute to FF, they just happen to have some similarities.
I was fortunate enough to be given three new tracks to evaluate. Their first album is damn fine, but the new tracks reflect some changes in line up (and in the maturity and songwriting ability of the band). Of these three new tracks only one, “Street Lights,” has been dubbed fit for human consumption yet. The other two tracks are works in progress, although to my ear they sound ready to go.
“Street Lights” opens with a semi-fuzzed bit of noodling that without warning gives way to a glorious wall of sound and soaring vocals. Just as swiftly, it falls back to the verse where the instrumentation becomes subdued and the vocals are more “matter of fact”—at least until the next chorus, when it all explodes again.
This “tension and release” dynamic seems to be a staple of the band. They use it to great effect, making what are already very well-written songs even more audibly interesting. One gets the impression that the band is exercising a great deal of restraint, only letting slip precisely as much they mean to at any given moment. Even the guitar solo is gloriously minimalist.
The takeaway from this is that while many bands are often described as having “raw talent,” PLVNET is a powerhouse of refined talent. Not a big surprise there, either, as at least a few of the fellas are alumni of bands like Downstream and Crank Sanatra.
Wes Hartman’s vocal style and ability is perfectly suited to the band, as are the guitars of Nathanimal Luttrell and Will Martin. Bassist Abe Watson and drummer Michael “Red” Souther provide the solid rhythm background that allows the rest of the band to explore the space, vocally and instrumentally.
PLVNET just came off of a grueling tour, covering 5,300 miles in 20 days and bringing back a great deal more experience and inspiration than they started with. See it for yourself on Thursday, Dec. 17 at the Revelry Room with special guests Divided We Stand from Knoxville.
In the meantime, PLVNET’s current catalog can be found in all the usual online haunts and I highly recommend having a listen. Besides the new single, “Sleeping with Thieves” is a personal favorite. If the work they’ve done is any indication, their new album (due next spring) is going to be magnificent.