Catching Up With Death Plant’s Latest Searing Alternative Rock
I once knew some teenagers that admired my appreciation for hard rock or metal at loud volume levels despite my middle aged status. When one of my snarky colleagues at the time caught wind of this admiration, he told the teenagers, “That’s only because Alan is getting so old he’s going deaf and has to listen to music that loud in order to hear it.” Now, as I enjoy reviewing the latest work from sonic masters Death Plant, I take pride in the fact that it’s my kids who are yelling, “Dad! Turn your music down!” instead of vice versa, which is more typically expected; this was always the same thing my parents yelled at me about when I was a kid anyways. Ironically perhaps, it was nine-year-olds (the same age as one of my irate children) who were interestingly brought up by Stephen Colbert as being Death Plant’s targeted fan base during his late show in March of this year: “Great news for all those nine year old fans of Death Plant!”
The band has managed to keep busy in 2020. They’ve written a few new songs, one of them being the hip new single “Why?” The band also had the opportunity to play some socially distanced live performances over the summer at Johnny B’s in Medford, where they increased the fun by playing “instrument rotation” with Anthony on guitar instead of bass, the usual drummer Will on bass instead, and Mel on drums for once (and vox of course). I’m going to rate what I believe to be the top five songs from Death Plant this year, in order starting with the best.
“Why do you keep mentioning history? Sounds like you miss the back of the limousine…Baby, I’m not your time machine.”
The freshly released new single shows that sometimes the band has an axe to grind. On their website they admit that some of their songs are about “talking smack,” and this track certainly seems to come close to being one of them. It’s rated as the best song on the list because of its superb versatility in dynamics; the subdued, slow guitar intro that segways into upbeat drums followed by the highs and lows of Mel’s voice–from croon to low growl to loud wailing at all the right moments. This is the kind of dynamic versatility that builds the musical tension I crave and that I’m finding I need most from this band. When Mel sings the words “carbon dioxide” and then the phrase that follows about it pouring out of the mouth of the individual the song addresses, I know by her rising tone that the venom is about to spew and it’s spine-tingling. The very recent lyric video premier for the song on youtube also helped give me more insight into what the song is truly about.
“Blame is a boomerang. And I never said I wasn’t addicted.”
More like BoomerANGST. Death Plant just put out a crisp, new version of this standout track from their EP The Storm. The new version is more polished; the drums sound better (a fuller, more typical drum set sound than the original), and the rich, haunting guitars are more pronounced during the slow part where Mel stretches out the word “boomerang” into seven syllables, making what was already a good song even better ear candy.
“The things you do make me want to be you.”
What a bass part Anthony has on this one! An awesome, fast-paced bass line that leads to a great instrumental interlude which finishes with a fuzzy speed guitar climax!
- “The Controller”
“The bombs were set before you got here. And there’s a detonator there!…Revolution, revolution, don’t you see there’s no solution!”
This song has more spoken word to it than singing; the lyrics are timely, it moves fast and kicks ass!
- The Rectifier
“Your sacrifice – throw someone else on the pire. Break me to pieces so you can be the rectifier.”
This one contains a crunchy, hardcore bridge that is in some parts stripped down and coarse.
In all, Death Plant’s songwriting ability, presence in the public eye, and creativity seem to be better than ever; I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2021.
Death Plant has just released the new single “Why?” and a new version of “BoomerANG”on all major streaming platforms.