Planes Mistaken For Stars | Thunder in the Night Forever
Planes Mistaken for Stars (RIP) was one of those bands that just couldn’t write a bad song. Even in the early days when they were signed to the notoriously wimpy and heart-on-sleeve label, Deep Elm, they fit flush with the rest of their emo roster while maintaining their hardcore sensibilities and dirt-and-sweat demeanor. Over the years they got progressively darker and filthier. You could almost hear the dust that rested inside their amp cabinets and the grit-and-whiskey voice of singer/guitarist Jared O’Donnell grow thicker over the years. There was a marked and obvious separation between Fuck With Fire and its predecessor “knifeinthemarathon” where shit hit the fan.
Lineup changes, relationship woes, constant touring and an unfaltering ability to pour forth from their hearts tempered this band. Starting as an anthemic emo-core band that wailed over tracks on their self-titled debut, skidding into the dirtier post-hardcore sound of knifeinthemarathon, going down a rusty spiral on Fuck With Fire before releasing the magnum opus, Up In Them Guts, and transitioning into darkly soulful (or soulless, depending who’s hearing it) broken and desperate stoner rock on their swansong, Mercy. Their career embodied an almost perfectly glorious descent into ashes. Their musical integrity and lyrical rawness and woundedness only grew stronger as their career went on. There is not an epitaph that’s worthy of their demise.
Having seen them live several times, I can attest that they were one of those bands that played every show like it was their last. Unfortunately, that show came just a few months ago and they have just released a compilation of B-sides and earlier, hard-to-find tracks to sum up their career. Among those tracks is “Thunder In the Night Forever”; one of my favorite tracks of all time, by any band. So much so that I fully intend to get the song’s rejoinder, “We ride to fight!” tattooed on me.
Listen and learn how rock is done right, children.
LISTN | Thunder In the Night Forever
(PS, I took all those pics)