The Getaway plan are one of those bands who have gone through all the token rock n roll cliché’s; success, downfall, break ups, reformations and heartbreaks, all in a short space of time. Dark Horses is the groups 3rd LP, but has this rich tapestry of a back-story managed to influence their new record in a good way?
Starting off with Landscapes is safe territory and does what it intends to do, by drawing you into the record. Gentle build-up against lyrics of ‘carrying the weight of the world’ lead to a big chorus that, in honesty, has been tried and tested before, but does work well. Castles in the Air improves by bringing rock back to the forefront with a great rhythm against the melody, which pumps along nicely. The track is heavy where it should be, seductive when needed, and features a decent riff.
The band also manages to pull out the gentler tracks, but with varying results. Last Words is a highlight with its whisper of a pace and great instrument work, as Wright sings his heart out in his inverted manner: ‘don’t come searching for me, I’m as good as dead’. On the other hand, Dreamer Parallels slow start almost takes away from the track, and is too long for what it’s trying to do – although it does provide a decent insight into the bands mentality at time of recording.
And that seems to be the problem with the record; it’s trying to be a game of two halves when it needs to be a whole. The lyrics need to be a little tighter also, as the band relies too heavily on tired clichés, which can actually bring down the overall effect of the music at times.
When they get it right, however, it really works. Baby Bird Effigy is testament to this, dipping into their past and really feeling the energy throughout. The track is most closely akin to something fellow countrymen Silverchair may have come up with in their prime, and shows just what the band can produce.
Dark Horses should be seen as a work of a band building itself back together. It’s not up there as their best work, but is learning ground for what they need to improve for the next record. There’s bits they did get right, and if they can see this and make sure not to make the same mistakes for the next album, they will be onto something big.