Planet of Ghosts Manifests the Warped Distorted Reality and Anxieties of the World Today on Jangle Noise Psych Song “Flatlined”

Planet of Ghosts, photo courtesy the artists

Planet of Ghosts is a band that formed in 1991 and after some local success the group parted ways until during the pandemic lockdown of 2020-2021 the four-piece started writing new songs and recording in ways and sharing contributions in a way that modern technology makes possible that was absolutely not an option in the early 90s. The result is a new self-titled album the lead track of which is “Flatlined.” Is the name of the song a reference to the prospects of the human race? With a lyric like “No more space and no more time” that’s entirely possible. The song, though, is a well crafted blend of psychedelic rock, folk, punk and lo-fi. Though the song is well written and has a hook or two what helps it stand out these days is where the recording leaves some of the rough edges that give a rock song character in place like when the feedback flies in the beginning and the middle of the song. It makes it feel like you’re seeing the live band rather than a mediated version of that band. Of course that was an intentional choice but it feels less calculated and more being true to themselves. One might describe the sound as jangle noise psych a little like early Hawkwind with a 90s emo flavor, like Sebadoh collaborating with Alice Donut but maybe not quite that surreal. On the album cover there’s a UFO abducting a tricycle and perhaps the child pictured below. Given the challenges and anxieties the band outlines in the song, who doesn’t not so secretly wish some advanced civilization would come to whisk you away to a better place or to enact benevolent regime change worldwide right now? Listen to “Flatlined” on YouTube and explore other tracks from the album on Spotify.