Riding high on buzz generated by its performance at South by Southwest this year, the Welsh quintet People in Planes sparked a rather heated "alchemy or artifice" rock debate recently. The charge? That the group's seemingly jazzy take on post-Radiohead "rawk" is clutching at the coattails of Muse and Snow Patrol.
To be fair, someone should ask where Pete Roberts and the boys keep their '60s rock, lounge, and jazz vinyl. As Far as the Eye Can See may be guilty of guileless mimicry, but no more than Wolfmother and the White Stripes are guilty of stalking Jimmy Page.
"Barracuda" opens with a driving blues riff that Jack Bruce would be proud of, leading into a cascade of styles ranging from whimsical mood music ("Fire," "Rush") to space-age rawk ("Fallen by the Wayside," "Narcoleptic") to rollicking anthems ("Moth," "Penny," "If You Talk Too Much [My Head Will Explode])" and the rasta-seared power ballad "For Miles Around."
Disarmingly wicked and charismatic, As Far as the Eye Can See finds the perfect chemistry in a debut that radiates confidence. Well done, mates.