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The Planets are Blasted

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Boston Spaceships

The Planets are Blasted

12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

Following a four-star review in Mojo and a successful whirlwind US tour, Boston Spaceships return to Earth just five months later with their sophomore album!

Chris Slusarenko (Guided By Voices, Sprinkler) and John Moen (Decemberists, Elliott Smith) have never been so impressive. Robert Pollard himself was sequestered in Dayton, Ohio for nearly two years without touring, concentrating on his songwriting and artwork. The trio's efforts are readily apparent on The Planets Are Blasted.

This nuanced and transcendent rock album culminates with four of Pollard's best songs yet. The majestic and metaphorical Queen of Stormy Weather, who threatens to pee on my parade, is followed by The Town That's After Me, which combines acoustic, electric guitar and strings to stunning effect. Sight on Sight, a four-minute mini-epic, detours to otherworldly chants, echoes and drones, sitars, handrums, and tambourines, but rocks like heck, and the verse of Heavy Crown is melodically reminiscent of the Guided By Voices hit Everywhere With Helicopter, but Pollard ups the ante with an even better chorus and then goes over the top with a still catchier refrain.


Much of Robert Pollard's recorded output of 2008 suggested the man was going to slow down and focus on quality control rather than cranking out as much product as possible, which seemed to be his modus operandi during the first few years of his post-Guided by Voices career. But The Planets Are Blasted, the second album from his group Boston Spaceships, has emerged a mere six months after their debut, Brown Submarine, so it seems the man is back in prolific mode. But Pollard also has a pair of worthwhile collaborators in John Moen (of the Decemberists) and Chris Slusarenko (of Sprinkler and the Takeovers), and though Boston Spaceships' sonic identity clearly comes from Pollard's songwriting, The Planets Are Blasted is every bit as satisfying as the band's debut, and at its best this hits the same giddy melodic heights as GBV's golden era but with a grander sense of scale and drama. Songs like "Queen of Stormy Weather" and "Canned Food Demons" could pass for classic-era GBV in dim light, but most of these tunes carry more muscle and heft than Pollard's usual miniature pop constructs, and Moen and Slusarenko (along with a handful of guests, including ex-GBV guitarist Greg Demos and fellow Decemberist Chris Funk) give this music the aural grandeur of the '70s arena rock and prog rock Pollard clearly loves without its crippling pretension or pomposity. "UFO Love Letters" and "Keep Me Down" nearly beat the Who at their own game, and "Headache Revolution" offers a vague notion of what King Crimson might have been like if they were any fun. And The Planets Are Blasted is that rare Pollard project that leaves you wanting more -- the 14 songs here each sound complete and fully realized, and at under 35 minutes, this set doesn't run out of ideas before it draws to a close. (Pollard sings up a storm, too.) So maybe Robert Pollard didn't need a different work ethic -- he just needed a good band in his corner, and Boston Spaceships is helping to reestablish him as one of the most satisfying talents in indie rock.

Additional Information

Artist Boston Spaceships
Track Listing 1 Canned Food Demon - 2:07 2 Dorothy's a Planet - 2:20 3 Tattoo Mission - 2:44 4 Keep Me Down - 2:40 5 Big 'O' Gets an Earful - 3:13 6 Catherine from Mid-October - 1:44 7 Headache Revolution - 2:22 8 Sylph - 2:37 9 UFO Love Letters - 2:40 10 Lake of Fire - 1:56 11 Queen of Stormy Weather - 1:53 12 The Town That's After Me - 1:16 13 Sight on Sight - 4:05 14 Heavy Crown - 2:40

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