Whilst some bands can take yonky donks to write and record an album, Plainview went for the fuck it approach and went straight into the studio to see what they could come up with. Having only a few weeks before decided in a pub one night that they missed touring and wanted to form a band. The result speaks wonders about Dave Smale (vocals), Jonny Smale (guitar), Chris Williams (drums) and Danny Cross (bass) as musicians.
Plainview‘s self-titled debut album opens with good quality musicianship and vocal harmonies on Slip Through Your Fingers, which promises us a good album. The vocal harmonies remind me of a band I heard thirteen years ago called Heckler, who I don’t suppose exist anymore. They are very melodic and nicely attuned.
There are some slow and steady grooves on The Last Word, a more sedate track than the opener and credit should be paid to drummer Chris Williams and bassist Danny Cross for holding this together tightly.
The heavy rock chords and Dave Smale‘s ethereal vocals at the opening of No Other Way, lead you into a beautiful false sense of direction before they rock this song up.
Noticeable throughout is the decent quality sound levels of all elements that make up the band, each instrument can be heard clearly and credit should go I believe to Guy Davies for this.
Wasted Words is a more fun pop punk meets rock track and Sins of the Father has a sweet guitar solo in the middle with an eerie conclusion. There are several guitar solos throughout the album that vary in length and complexity, but show variety to Jonny‘s playing and make for a more interesting sound for the band. None of them are too self-indulgent, they are all just enough.
Solitaire is a great track, where the vocal harmonies between the two Smale brothers are out in force again and the musical journey is simply quality rock.
Take What You Want is my favourite track on the album. It has dirty chords throughout, with a slight echo on the drums and bass, Dave‘s voice sails over this as he belts out the chorus. It’s a good example of his vocal range and a fantastic punchy track, an almost hidden gem of a song.
Metal Hammer are thankfully not oblivious to Plainview for they premiered the video for single Aino this summer. This track is indicative of the solid grunge rock influence of Plainview and the sometimes haunting vocals that you can hear on the album.
Maintaining the heavy sound Plainview bring us Look Away, a song of musical filth. Things lighten up at the start of final track The Writing’s On The Wall, that oozes some delicate guitar phrases.
The album is very well written and lyrically very reflective. A most accomplished and enjoyable debut with not a dud track on it.
You can catch Plainview live supporting The Mercy House on the following confirmed dates, with more dates to be added:
24th November, Green Door Store, Brighton
25th November, Face Bar, Reading
26th November, Camden barfly, London