Music News

The Planet The

A recent Denver performance by Portland's The Planet The brought heckles of "pretentious asshole" that were aimed at singer/guitarist Charles Salas-Humara as he pouted, pranced and robot danced his way through a brief set of utterly brain-fucking rock. The Planet The knows how to polarize a crowd; the trio doesn't make sounds with its instruments as much as it jabs holes into space, tracing jittery pointillist patterns of pin-prick rhythm, chromed guitar and vintage analog squawk. Noodling and needling like a mash-up of Yes's Fragile and Erase Errata's At Crystal Palace, Planet's new disc, Physical Angel, is as love-it-or-leave-it as the group's live show. Caked in scruff and road-weariness, it's the sound of a band on the run, a smart, inimitable sonic document that pole-vaults over "dance punk" like the lump of shit it's quickly turning into. Check out Salas-Humara and his posse pumping out their icy, in-concert rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire," completely recontextualized for a world where being born in the U.S.A. can result in your burning body falling from a skyscraper. Abrasive doesn't cover it: more like skin-crawling. And yet, The Planet The's marionette-like spasms are supple and liquid enough to shake your ass off to -- that is, if your ass comes equipped with a slide rule and calculator. Pretentious? No doubt. Assholes? Unlikely. Kickin'? Hell, yes.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason Heller
Contact: Jason Heller