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The Planet The | Physical Angel (54°40' or Fight!)
Trying to make any sense out of this release is a waste of time ?? it's simply too, well, weird to write anything particularly constructive about. Hailing form Portland, The Planet The specialise in the awkward, and 'Physical Angel' is the kind of record that immediately has the listener in two minds ?? on the one hand it's a remarkably creative achievement, but on the other the compositions often irritate through being too damn odd for their own good. A root through the trio's record collection would probably unearth such acts as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Liars, early Genesis, Ex Models and quite possibly Brainiac, and whilst a simple list of vaguely similar acts is hardly constructive criticism, it's about the best I can muster for a record that veers wildly from stop-start math rock to spaced-out prog within the same two-minute song. If you take music as art, this is the peak of high art, and subsequently many a listener, me included, is going to struggle to find meaning within the fractured arrangements. That said though, at a mere 27 minutes long, it's hardly going to test anyone's patience, and there are occasional moments of tunefulness that suggest that The Planet The's true home could, if given a bit of coherency, be the dance floor.

Mike Diver
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003

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