Former Planets is the combined efforts of Korkut Genc (bass), Jeff Greaves (drums), Evan Johnson (guitar/vocals), Jason Small (lead vocals) and Clay Young (guitar/vocals). The five-piece pop punk band is the remains of a couple of other bands from Gainesville, FL. They formed in the summer of 2014 and have already released their self-titled full length Former Planets.
Their album is a straightforward pop punk that tips its hat to Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday. Small has the classic emo stricken pop punk delivery and the rest of the bands knows all the tricks in the book that similar type of bands have been touting for years.
The album starts with “History.” Small sings, “when I think back on the last few years of my life and where I went wrong” against a single distorted guitar but it doesn’t take too long for a formidable bass line and drums to enter into the mix. It’s a fairly infectious, radio ready song that could easily blend into the current pop punk atmosphere. The band displays their influences as well as innate talent on songs like “Alcatraz” and “Revival.” It’s obvious that the band is technically talented and you occasionally hear creative fills or parts that make your ears perk up.
One of the highlights was “Calling Shotgun” which deviates from distorted power chords and attempts something more melodic. The band sounds great more subdued but unfortunately they can't resist hitting their distortion pedals and going loud during the chorus. Former Planets close out with “Trouble,” “Waterways” and “Tomorrow” which were all solid songs.
Former Planets can compete with the best the emo/pop punk genre has to offer. That being said the band is retreading a formula that has seems to be ingrained in their being that they are having a hard time escaping. Perhaps it’s because they are newly formed and because they didn’t take a whole lot of time to come out with a full length. The band has the talent, skill and ability - now they have to dig deeper and figure out what is unique Former Planets.
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