30 Nov 2022
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Planet Hunter - Album Review: Moscovium

22 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

On April 19th, 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite was launched on a two-year mission to find a rocky world with an atmosphere which could be probed for signs of life. Although it had an official name, the media just called it a planet hunter which seemed more exciting, and a Wellington rock band finally came across a name they felt was fitting for the music they were creating. Fast forward a few years, and the quartet are releasing their debut album which is named after an extremely radioactive synthetic element which came into existence less than 20 years ago. Who said rock bands aren’t nerds at heart? Given the way they chose the band name, plus the science matter of the album, one could be forgiven for thinking that here we have a progressive rock band who follow Hawkwind and are generating space rock, but no. What is contained within these grooves (yes, it is available on vinyl) is music that is combining grunge and doom to create something which is incredibly heavy yet has an underlying groove and commerciality which makes it a load of fun.

The band comprise Jedaiah Van Ewijk (bass), Cormac Ferris (vocals), William Saunders (guitar) and David McGurk (drums), and one can imagine them recording this live in the studio as there is little in the way of additional tracking or layering (although there is some on the guitars in places) and it has the vitality one would expect from that manner of working. The bass is rich and thick, often tied in directly with the guitar although there are instances when it goes off on its own, while the drums provide the punch and chop through the bottom end, of which there is plenty. There are a few effects on the guitar, but mostly it is all about throwing down a line or riff and expecting the rest of the guys to pull in tight behind to work as a single unit. Cormac has a great voice, thick and broad with plenty of range and the music allows him to work the range, calming down when the need arises but also allowing him to demonstrate his chops. In many ways they remind me of Auckland band Silcrow, and if someone could organise a gig of the two of them together, I know that would work incredibly well.

For those who want to be able to put a saddle on the riffs and ride them around the room, this is solid, punchy and direct with a great underlying groove. They say their music sounds like celestial bodies colliding, and they may be right.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Planet Hunter

Planet Hunter came together in early 2017. After a year and a half of creating their own unique form of riff-fuelled rock, the band finally named themselves on the auspicious date of April 19. On the very same day, the Planet Hunter Satellite was launched into outer space.

It seemed appropriate; the satellite will search for new alien worlds throughout the cosmos, and the band will do the same.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Planet Hunter

Releases

Planet Hunter
Year: 2019
Type: EP

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