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Smoke Signals

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Album Review

While adding member Howard Gillam on Smoke Signals, Point Line Plane seem to have pulled back a bit on the noise/dance-punk of their 2003 raucous self-titled release. The repetitive Shellac-y/Liars-type rhythms still exist on the album with tracks like "Smoke Signals," "Descender," and "D.R.U.G.," but Point Line Plane seem to be at their best when they create dramatic, eerie scapes, sounding like that of Metal Box/Second Edition-era Public Image Limited, especially on tracks "B.U.G.S." and "The Messenger." The production seems to make the whole record a bit light and distant, diminishing the passion that lies underneath. Live performances from Point Line Plane might prove to be a different story, but it may be hard to imagine given the production of Smoke Signals.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Portland's synth-core outfit Point Line Plane features singer/keyboardist Josh Blanchard, drummer Nathan Carson, and keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Howard Gillam. Blanchard has also played with the Sensualists, Mome Raths, and the Kremlin Bronx; Carson is a member of Witch Mountain, and Gillam also performs as Supersprite. The group began as a duo, with Blanchard and Carson's mix of no wave noise and old-school analog synths recalling bands like Trans Am as well as Numbers and Experimental Dental...
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Smoke Signals, Point Line Plane
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