Gather around children and let me tell you of a story of time past. Cast your minds ten years back, to a time called 2005. There was none of this Bookface because it was all about MySpace.
Destiny’s Child broke-up.
Phones didn’t really have the internet. And they were Hiptops.
And if you had a 2MP camera on your phone you were on top of your game (and Snake 2).
We were still using dial-up internet. And laptops were for rich kids only.
I used to earn $6.01 an hour at Hungry Jacks.
I was 16 and The Getaway Plan was my favourite band.
A regular Friday or Sunday night for me and my xohxsoxemox friends would usually involve going to a ‘mechanics hall’ in a suburb and watching these guys play at shows featuring the best of local screamo and hardcore music at the time (see legit Livejournal entry from 2005 below). At these shows, there was this thing called BYPC (Back Yard Pit Crew) where guys used to wear these jerseys and break-up the floor to start those mosh pits where it looks like you are fighting invisible ninjas.
At this time, The Getaway Plan had this demo that they were handing out on blank CD-Rs (I still have it) and it had this song called ‘Strings‘ on it that I was obsessed with.
Now it’s 2015. Facebook seems to be more of a basic human right than water.
Beyonce is the biggest female popstar on this planet.
Phones are only good because they have the internet.
There is this thing called the iPhone. Some phones have 16MP cameras (and Candy Crush).
We use wi-fi. My six year old niece has her own laptop.
Where the fuck is Mischa Barton?
I get paid to work on Facebook all day.
I am 26 and The Getaway Plan have a new album called Dark Horses and it’s bringing back all the feels.
Opening with “Landscapes”, it’s refreshing to hear something so tied to what The Getaway Plan are. Meticulous, spidering guitar melodies over loud sonic walls of drum crashes, chants, crunching bass and the vocal shaping of Matthew Wright. It’s a wholesome serve two years in the making since the band went down the self-funding path (David Byrne from Talking Heads says this is now the only way bands can survive) and released Lovesick/Mirrors.
Then, “Landscapes” does what these guys have always been so good at, and that is the way that all their recorded collections have carefully been curated to stitch into the next. The transitions between songs are seamless and it’s something that points out that extra care that has been taken in creating not just an album, but an artwork and world that they want their listeners to be enveloped in.
“Dark Horses” showcases the understanding that The Getaway Plan has with effective crescendos and decrescendos to tell a story. Beginning with layered whispering and a folk like-guitar melody (powered through an electric of course), the track builds upon the creaking despair of Wright’s patience before colliding into the final chorus of damaged realisation and fading out with the quiet composition it began with.
Like a Greek tragedy, we are reaching the parodos of Dark Horses and the story of The Getaway Plan. A band that has worked so hard throughout the years as a band playing local venues, to finding commercial success with Other Voices, Other Rooms, calling a hiatus, departing from their label, enduring line-up changes, confronting mental health and looking to crowd-funding to release their most developed work yet.
More upbeat tracks like “Last Words” show this rebuilding, with bright piano chords over skipping hi-hat drum breaks, synth trails and choral chants. An ode to surviving, the solid mantra ‘From the deepest ocean, in the darkest trench / I’ve been counting my stars, I’ve been raising hell / Even if I falter best you hear me well / Because these could be my last words’ is one that will bring out the nods of affirmation and break a smile across your face.
In the same vein as their beautifully constructed softer, older tracks like “An Afterword”, an epic 7 minute plus track called “Baby Bird/Effigy” reiterates those dynamics I spoke about earlier. The piano soaked outro leads into a guitar solo like Slash shredding outside that country church in “November Rain”. The things we know and love.
The Dark Horses journey ends with the aptly titled “Exodus”, a shadowed track that sounds like a walk to the gallows as the prodigal son washed with mercy and the marks of endurance. As the song picks up again with its own self-contained encore as an outro, it mirrors a catharsis in which you can’t help but feel the internal monologues of an artist’s inner doubt, self-realisation and the persistence to create at any cost.
When the minutes of layering end abruptly, we are left in the silence needed to reflect on this and cannot help but feel anything but proud of them and this album for the myriad of subtle detail, influences, persistence and work that has gone into it.
Keep on keeping on. The praise for Dark Horses is fluid and permanent.
Check Dark Horses national tour deetz here.
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Sounds like: The Amity Affliction, Gyroscope, Circa Survive
Say what? The band list Fleetwood Mac, Daft Punk and Enya as influences on the track “Dark Horse”. Eclectic ya know?
Here, have some history. Photos from The Getaway Plan in Seaford, 2005 and that Back Yard Pit Crew (so glad that never made it to hashtag land).
Paws and pineapples, Cat.