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 Plainview - Plainview (2013) Album Review

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Plainview - Plainview (2013)
Self-Released -- Running Time: 40:00


In the grand scheme of things Plainview are an extremely new band. Only forming in early 2013, this London & Brighton based four piece Alternative/Grunge/Modern Hard Rock band went straight into the studio to work and write on their self-titled debut album. Released digitally in October 2013 and on CD in March of this year the decision to work quickly has paid off in spades and 2014 has already seen them tour in support of 'Martyr De Mona' and 'Liberty Lies'. With another tour planned for later this month supporting the excellent 'The Mercy House' things are certainly moving in the right direction.

Plainview are all battle hardened musicians, lead vocalist David Smale being the current bass player with 'The Yardbirds', but regardless of pedigree you still need to come up with the songs. David, who is joined by his brother Jonny Smale, bassist Danny Cross and ex Counterpoint drummer Chris Williams have crafted a dark, haunting album but one which also contains copious amounts of melody and fabulous musicianship.

You'll all be saying "But you mentioned the word Grunge and you don't do Grunge". That's very true, but I do think carefully before deciding to review something and even though there is a 90's Grunge feel to Plainview they also have plenty more up their collective sleeves! Opening two tracks 'Slip Through The Fingers' and 'The Last Word' both contain fabulous, heavy riffs that should have most fans of Classic Rock tapping their feet. Both songs have a huge swinging feel, thanks to the excellent rhythm section. Jonny is also a very talented guitarist, who does solo regularly, which elevates the songs further. Add to that the brilliant vocals of David who uses melody with interesting lyrics in abundance throughout and you have something very different from your standard Grunge band. Third track 'No Other Way' is where things start to darken slightly and that feel steadily increases as the album continues!

That's not to say the album becomes depressing at all, it certainly doesn't, but that Plainview have front loaded the album with the tracks that are a touch more accessible on first listen. It's odd to say then that lead single 'Aino' appears deep in the running order which proves that Plainview can certainly write an immensely catchy tune, but one which has a blackened underbelly and which also makes you think!

There isn't a bad track on display here but it's the final two 'Look Away' and 'Writings On The Wall' which really pique my interest. These are by far the oddest and most haunting tracks on the album and the ones which perfectly compliment the very unusual album artwork. If leaving these till last (the final song displays David's voice to perfection and has a chorus to die for) is a sign of what is to come from Plainview in the future then you can most certainly count me in as a fan!

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Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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