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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

12. The Getaway Plan : Requiem

Starting today we’re counting down to Christmas Eve with the 12 best albums of the year. There’ll be one each day until December 24.

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry. One moment The Getaway Plan was Australia’s most exciting band, ready to outstrip the likes of INXS and AC/DC.

Four years ago they jetted to Florida to make a debut album which won rave reviews, shot into the charts, and won them stadium support slots with My Chemical Romance.

Then they abruptly split, and went their separate ways with a clutch of so-so solo efforts. End of story.

Until now, that is.

Spurred by the plight of young fans in the recession, the band reformed for a charity gig and an under-age festival in 2010, expecting them to be one-offs.

But they enjoyed it so much that they decided to put their differences aside, and do it all over again.

Cue Requiem, The Getaway Plan’s sophomore set – four years late.

“It’s pretty rare for a band to vanish for a couple of years and then come back and take off where they were,” says drummer Aaron Barnett.

“And it feels great man, it’s really good. It’s been a long time coming for us.

“You’re a bit sceptical – you don’t know how any album is going to go really – and coming back was nerve-racking. You never know if your old fans are going to be around, or if new ones are going to take to the new material.

“But we knew we had a solid record. We think it’s the best stuff we’ve written. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Musically, Requiem suggests that the band can give the likes of Muse and Thirty Seconds To Mars a run for their megabucks.

It’s melodic but with a hard rock foundation. Frontman Matthew Wright has an infectious voice and his keyboards inform most tracks before Clint Ellis’ edgy guitar starts building metal muscle.

It’s radio-friendly stadium rock.

But most importantly it has big songs. Two of them, in fact.

While the rest of the album is good, both Move Along and Coming Home are great.

US TV producers will be queuing up to use the former in the hottest network shows. It has that sort of appeal.

The song ticks all the boxes – pop dressed as metal, a soaring chorus, FM radio guitars and mobiles in the air anthemic appeal.

The latter, with its string soundwash, just needs to be paired with video of troops coming home from the front line (although it’s not about that, as such) and it will do the same job that The Cars’ Drive did for Live Aid.

Driving opener the Reckoning has been chosen as the initial UK single and has a harder edge, suggesting it will be one to reckon with live.

It will be boosted by a disturbing and controversial video featuring Lord Of The Flies-style feral children making a sacrifice of one of their own in the woods – and burning down a church.

Although it hardly reflects the band’s personality, it’s a compelling view.

But it’s surely only a matter of time before record label bosses move along to that worldwide hit in the waiting.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Paul for your beautifully-written review which mostly nails it...err, just a couple of points:
    - Not naming names, but that sad split produced some sublime (yep) solo efforts. I don't know who heard them but hopefully one day everyone will.
    - Only 2 great songs? I say more. This is a great album. Vastly underrated for recondite reasons known only to some in the Australian music industry.
    - Totally agree that some tracks will be snapped up for use in tv and film.
    - And of course agree about that worldwide hit.
    They're a hardworking, complex and beautiful troupe of minstrels and I am so looking forward to their next offering!