When you hear the words “Sad Planets,” what the words sound like it could be the title of a bad fifties Sci-Fi movie that you’d end up seeing on Horror Host shows such as Elvira, Svengoolie, or Mystery Science Theater 3000. And while you might think that it might be a “B” movie title, what Sad Planets actually happens to be is the moniker to a new Rock and Roll band from Akron, Ohio.
Sad Planets began when two Northern Ohio musicians met each other one day. Both John Petkovic (of Cobra Verde fame) and Patrick Carney (from The Black Keys) grew up in Akron, Ohio but had never found themselves in the position to join forces together in order to create music. Of course, all that has now changed!
When Petkovic and Carney found themselves meeting up, the idea of creating a band was formed. Shortly later, Sad Planets was born. And soon, the duo was recording their debut album. That newly-released album is appropriately entitled Akron, Ohio.
Akron, Ohio from Sad Planets begins with the track “Just Landed”. “Just Landed” is a Rock and Roll track that defies categorization. Having been created with the help of J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr fame (Mascis also is a band mate to Patrick Carney in the band Sweet Apple), the song comes with a sound that blends several different musical elements together. The rather melodic music on the track feels as if it could have been right at home in the seventies, yet is melodic enough to have been influenced by the likes of British band Coldplay. Needless-to-say, the resulting track is rather commercial and could find its way onto on Top 40 and/or Modern Rock radio format.
While “Just Landed” from Sad Planets would feel right at home on today’s radio, the second track on the Akron, Ohio release, and the album’s first single called “Not of This World” changes the feel of the album after only one track. “Not of This World” finds John Petkovic and Patrick Carney creating a track that is very psychedelic in nature. The trippy music delivered on this song and the lyrical content of the words contained within the song both bring to mind music that would have been produced by bands like The Chocolate Watchband, Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Thirteenth Floor Elevators and others. The music in the track takes the listener back in time to the psychedelic sixties as the music and production of the track bring to mind the music that came from the early to late sixties when musicians were experimenting with both music and with drugs. “Not of This World” is a great title for a track that is completely out of place with today’s music. It’s also a great song for those who miss that type of creative Rock and Roll.
Just as soon as Sad Planets ends their trippy track called “Not of This World,” they continue the dated feel of the music with the song “Yesterday’s Girls”. As the previous song “Not of this World” featured a sound that took the listener back to the sixties, “Yesterday’s Girls” keeps the listener in that era. This back, however, is more about the instrumentation than it is about the psychedelic feel to the music. What keeps the track in the late sixties/early seventies is the use of the fuzz guitar on the track. That sound is mixed with a generous amount of influence from Petkovic and Carney’s other musical projects as the track seems to recall some of the music of Petkovic’s band Cobra Verde and Carney’s band The Black Keys. “Yesterday’s Girls” is the perfect track for this band as the track makes good use of their personal styles and the influences that helped to shape their playing.
Speaking of influences, the next track called “City Ghosts” is one track where the two musicians seem to wear their influences on their sleeves, as the expression goes. The track opens with an instrumental passage that brings to mind the playing style of the band The Ventures and bands like Portland, Oregon’s Satan’s Pilgrims that came after them. The instrumental introduction of the song again contains a dated feel to it as the music takes the track back into the sixties. The track also seems to have a slight influence from the likes of Ennio Morricone of spaghetti western soundtracks fame. As the track progresses, the music seems to take on a little influence from Lounge Jazz. Add in some haunting vocals and this track would be perfect for background music in a big budget movie from the seventies.
As the album advances, the duo of John Petkovic and Patrick Carney continue to create music that blends their various influences together. The track “(Falling into the Arms of a) Refugee” begins with a slightly different feel to the music as the track starts off with the acoustic guitar. When the rest of the instrumentation is added in, the track takes on an electrified approach with an Indie Rock sound. Like with “City Ghosts” two tracks before it, the track “(Falling into the Arms of a) Refugee” contains a large amount of instrumental music during the track’s four-minute playtime. That playtime allows for the listener to enjoy the playing ability of Petkovic and Carney.
John Petkovic and Patrick Carney have both been around for many years performing in some really good bands. When the two came together, they created a band that contains many different influences. The ten tracks that make up the duo’s Akron, Ohio release under the moniker of Sad Planets makes good use of those influences. The band’s album of Akron, Ohio ends up with about one half of the tracks having modern influences to the music while the other half of the tracks take the band’s music back to earlier styles of Rock and Roll. The dual feel of the album ends up creating a release that ultimately would be a good release from any fan of Rock and Roll music, especially if you happen to like all types of the genre.
For more information on the band’s PR firm, check out Grandstand Media.
You can find the various formats of Akron, Ohio from Sad Planets on Tee Pee Records HERE.
Click on the album cover below to be taken to Sad Planets’ spotify account.