I first heard the music of Germany’s Planks last September and wrote about them here. What I heard then was a Bandcamp stream of Planks’ amazing 2012 album, Funeral Mouth. Not much later I discovered that Planks had recorded a split with a band named Lentic Waters that was released on vinyl in June 2012 by Apocaplexy Records, and was made available for free download via a link on this page. I wrote about that split here. Now, Planks are on the verge of releasing another split with a band named O.
For this new split both bands recorded cover songs. Planks picked “A Forest”, which was originally recorded by The Cure and appears to be one of the all-time favorite songs of the band’s vocalist/guitarist Ralph Schmidt. Mike Hill from Brooklyn’s Tombs contributed guest vocals on the track.
The other band, O, consists of members from the border region of Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium. The song they picked to cover is the “Laura Palmer Theme” from the David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks. It appears that show is a favorite of everyone in O (I like it a lot too).
Plank’s version of “A Forest” is slow, echoing, hypnotic, and heavy. Guitars reverberate and growl, drums and bass pound a repeating rhythm deep into your gut, haunted voices express the lyrics in both subdued and harsh tones. It’s a kind of dark, post-metal take on the original that works really well.
In their entirely instrumental track, O put an original spin on the “Laura Palmer Theme”, too, drenching it in melodic ambient sounds and deep, droning bass tones, while punctuating the shimmering, eerie atmospherics with the pulsing beat of a leviathan heart. It’s entrancing, surreal . . . and spooky.
Both of these songs are quite good standing by themselves, but they also make a fitting pair when heard back-to-back.
The split will be released July 1 on a limited number of 7″ vinyls by Alerta Antifascista Records. Those can be pre-ordered here. Both tracks can also be downloaded now via each band’s Bandcamp page; the links to those are below, along with streams of the music.