Battleplans - 'Sleep Well' (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Russ P   
Saturday, 12 June 2010 05:00

BattleplansSleepWell176pxArghh shit. Just like with films (I don't like knowing the endings before I start watching them) I like to listen to bands in complete ignorance of what they sound like but I've gone onto the band's MySpace page in order to verify their link and I've accidentally seen that amongst the band's influences are included At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta. Damn and blast. I love those bands. And now Battleplans have suddenly got something to live up to and I haven't heard a note.


OK. Benefit of the doubt. Let's be optimistic and crank up the volume from the off and step away from the typewriter, I repeat, step away from the typewriter...


Initial reaction to this EP is that the influences are merely that - influences that lurk in the shadows but don't really manifest themselves in the band's sound. And this would be true if it weren't for the third and title track of this EP 'Sleep Well' which does sound rather like The Mars Volta with its brilliant guitar work and abrupt and deadly accents. There's even an attempt at The Volta's trademark guitar delays and the vocal underwater warble effect. Arguably homage too far when, from the first chord, the band has already established 'The' Mars Volta link.


First track '78' is presumably named after the nice 7/8 time signature that provides the backbone but, as the track progresses, it suffers a bit in the production department which rather stymies the full impact and potential of what this band could sound like.


On the other hand 'Words' starts well and sounds great. The vocals are in the lower range and gel warmly with the guitar and bass. Everything is cooking sonically on the verses but tends to sound a little woody and hollow in the later stages of the song.


There are some good choruses in these 3 tracks but the vocals often sound unnecessarily thin and get squeezed flat between the other instruments jostling for position. Just like The Mars Volta moved on and progressed from At The Drive-In, I'm sure that Battleplans will make their own progression when they're able to cast off their influences and become something totally their own.