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Album Review

When progressive rock enthusiasts think of space rock, the first name that comes to mind is Pink Floyd. But for headbangers, the definitive space rock band has always been Hawkwind (who, unlike Pink Floyd, are quite relevant to heavy metal and hard rock). Hawkwind have epitomized a more metallic, hard rocking view of space rock, and on Planetfall, it is quite clear that Litmus identify with the metal/hard rock side of space rock that Hawkwind have been representing for many years. Hawkwind are a major influence on this 2007 release, which is not to say that this British band is a carbon copy of '70s-era Hawkwind — not at all. The influences on this 76-minute CD range from Hawkwind to Monster Magnet to punk to Pink Floyd (it is possible to be influenced by Pink Floyd's melodic sense even if a band rocks considerably harder). Planetfall is certainly mindful of the trip-out music of the '60s and '70s, but there is enough of an alternative rock influence to make this album relevant to rock's post-Nevermind landscape. In other words, Planetfall is greatly influenced by baby-boomer bands but is far from oblivious to post-boomer bands of the '90s and 2000s — and this disc achieves not only an appealing balance of influences from different eras, but also an appealing balance of musicality and intensity. Planetfall rocks aggressively, but never in a way that is punishing or terribly harsh. In fact, melody is never a mere afterthought for Litmus; it is an integral part of what the British space rockers do on this excellent CD.


Genre: Rock

Years Active:

Formed in the early 2000s, U.K.-based progressive rock quintet Litmus craft genre-bending, sonic assaults that utilize elements of heavy metal, punk, shoegaze, and space rock. The band's penchant for theatricality (elaborate visual and audio presentations accompany their live shows) and epic jams that can go anywhere from four minutes to thirty has landed them numerous gigs with notable space rock practitioners like Hawkwind, Julian Cope, and Ozric Tentacles. Litmus, which is comprised of Anton (electronics),...
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Planetfall, Litmus
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