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Global domination in the works

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WHO: The Planet Smashers

WHERE: The Boot

WHEN: Saturday, June 2

The Planet Smashers don’t want to destroy the world. They just want to dominate it!

The five-piece ska band from Montreal already has an impressive list of credentials – three CD’s selling over 50,000 copies, two European tours and a two month run at No. 2 on college radio charts – but the Planet Smashers just can’t sit still until they’ve brought their party to the rest of the globe.

"Hey, this is Kurt," cracks a sleepy voice over the phone. "I’m just the trombone player, but everyone else is still passed out so you’ve got me."

Seems the party has begun. The quintet has been on the road since mid-May in support of their newest release, No Self Control , an appropriate title considering last night’s antics.

"We’ve been playing a lot of all-ages shows so far," continues Kurt, "but last night we finally hit a bar and everyone went crazy."

And well, let’s face it, a little liquor, some bright lights, a kick-ass horn section and infectious melodies, who wouldn’t be tempted to give in to a little craziness? If the liquor and lights aren’t your idea of a good time, you can still enjoy the party in the safety of your own headphones.

Most ska bands will tell you the key to success is the energy at live shows. However, more than a few have fallen down in the recording department, failing to make an album that really captures that energy – and the listeners’ attention. The Planet Smashers manage to do both. Credit the band’s seven years of experience and/or the experienced production of Steven Drake (Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies, The Odds). No Self Control is, well, entertaining.

Lyrically and musically, all 14 songs tell a different story – albeit a short story. The average song length is about 2:45. This listener would’ve preferred to hear a little more from Hey Hey, but hey, many a wise man has offered the advice "quit while you’re ahead."

And what The Planet Smashers lack in length, they certainly make up for in variety, including a little punk influence on Blind, some rockin’ electric guitar on the title track, and Sk8 or Die is definitely a mosh inspirer.

The lyrics, too, are enough reason to give the CD another listen after the show. They’re real; they’re bold; they’re just plain funny. The song She’s Late is about exactly what you think it is. (Which way is reverse on this time machine? I shoulda thought first and used a magazine.) It’s Over is a quirky little number. Perhaps the aftermath of She’s Late? Contrary to any break up I’ve experienced, it’s smooth and dreamy. However, the lyrics are a rude awakening: ( Thinkin’ of your face makes me ill .) And then there’s Wish I Were American, a song which is bound to raise a few Canadian eyebrows, including a few in the band.

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