What a truly intriguing mix of styles this appears on paper! A duo comprised of Punk underground overlord and current Dead Cross member Justin Pearson and hip-hop producer Luke Henshaw, Planet B are bringing so much to the table of their self-titled album (Ipecac Recordings) and are doing do with politically charged lyrics which are looking to rail against “the lack of humanity in the world…….”
There is a new movement afoot right now where the Hip-Hop and Punk worlds are mind-melding and creating something totally relevant and totally vital. Bands like Ho99o9 have set the new revolution in motion and Planet B are right there in the trenches with them.
Opening with ‘Crustfund’ the raw, unbridled energy quickly makes it mark with some Industrial style beats coupled with an attitude and vocal delivery not unlike The Beastie Boys. This track also features the renowned independent rapper Kool Keith who famously contributed the titular sample to The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ track. It’s quite frankly a sublime way to show what you’re all about – that being Planet B are not here to fuck around.
‘Manure Rally’ has been doing the rounds for a while in the lead-up to the album’s release and as a taster for what Planet B do, it more than serves its purpose. A hook and beat so good it buries into very pores and is impossible to shake. It also features a sample of siren which I am sure is from the movie Kill Bill. In any case it’s just a brilliant, brilliant song.
Variety is also a key component to the album, with distorted fuzzed up beats being used in a way that made Ministry such a force back in the day. Take the off-kilter ‘Mirror, Mirror On The World’, which in stark contrast to the opening tracks is far more pacier and features a brilliant scatter gun vocal performance. Similar in feel and tone is the excellent ‘Join A Cult’, a clash of a Punk Rock call to arms message combined with the well thought out Henshaw stylings just works an absolute treat.
‘Big Karma’ is my favourite cut and really hits a sweet spot in that it sounds like a John Carpenter movie theme put through Hip-Hop blender and spat out the other side. The Synthwave genre is very in vogue right now and, whilst I’m sure they’re not looking to jump on any bandwagons, Planet B use it as a base for the song and expand on it to great effect.
Planet B is a rich tapestry of ideas and creative juices that have been allowed to flow with little to no boundaries put in place. What we have is an album that feels like it has come around at the right time with the right message and enough crossover appeal to get many a head nodding in approval.