What do we feature a lot of on CPRW? Canadian punk rock. Currently one of the best scenes in the world. Today we're reviewing the first full length from Toronto's Plan 37, titled Say Goodbye. Plan 37 formed in early 2012 and feature members of Deforesters, Sinkin' Ships, The Roman Line and The Unbelievers. They have released a handful of EPs and split releases and this September they released Say Goodbye on My Fingers! My Brain! Records.
The first of the thirteen tracks on Say Goodbye is named Already Here. Already Here wastes no time in laying down the marker for what to expect on the album - a great mix of sing-a-long street punk with a large dose of buzzsaw pop punk. The bands I'm most reminded of are early The Riptides and The Have Nots if you remove the ska elements. If you like those bands, you will without a doubt like Plan 37. The second track on the album is Bullet Catcher. The opening part of the song is very heavy, focussing largely on some bass and drums to get things going. Vocally the singer is quite harsh, with a great amount of intensity and aggression used with every word he growls out. Red Shirt falls more into the pop punk bowl. Played at a slower pace than you might expect after the opening two songs, it focuses more on melody rather than blistering musicianship. Like the true pop punk classics there are harmonies and background hand claps a-plenty. A great fun song. Me & U, Pt. II does feature that blistering musicianship. An energetic charm explodes out of the song and fills its audience with a punk rock joy that's hard to explain. The song is about get back together with a former partner realising why you broke up in the first place. The track has a wonderful story telling feel to it that plants images in your head of what's happening in the song.
The fifth song is True Lies. Kicking things off with a pounding drum beat and some vocals, this short song is another that's bursting with energy. The chorus really stands out with some huge gang vocals that plead to be screamed back at the band with your fists planted firmly in the air. The song is only a short one but kicks some serious arse throughout. I really loved On The Run from the first time that I listened to it. From the opening guitars, that will have you jumping around the room, to the infectious chorus, which will be wedged firmly in your head for hours - it's everything I want in my pop punk. Suburban Outfitters has somewhat of a horror punk feel to it. The song is very bass heavy with some quick guitar licks layered over the top. This different twist on their sound is great and shows some diversity which is always welcome on a punk record. I particularly loved the lyrics "Time To Stand Up, Time To Be A Dad, Cause You Love Your Wife, It's Time To Be A Man." There is an aggression and power to those gang vocals that really help the line hit home. Vanpire is the first time on Say Goodbye where Plan 37 utilise a dual male and female vocal partnership, other than for harmonies. It works a treat with the male vocals being some of the harshest on the album so far, when the female vocals join in there is a sweetness that offsets the harsher vocals perfectly.
Fighting To Die is a song that punches you in the face repeatedly for its one minute and fifty-one second duration. This street punk song rarely relents and is just a huge amount of fun. The vocals seemingly come from every direction leaving you with a feeling of not knowing what's coming next. The no thrills free-for-all is an absolute treat and will create some magical mosh pit moments. Shockmaster has a fairly long musical intro that has been missing thus far on Say Goodbye. It builds nicely into another street punk sing-a-long. Shockmaster is perhaps more reserved than the previous songs. This approach is refreshing and offers a nice rest bite to the unstoppable hurricane that's been happening so far. 2 Feet & A Heartbeat is another more reserved slower number, feeling like a great barroom sing-a-long track. One of those great songs where you throw your arms round your neighbours and sing like it's your last chance. The gang vocals are just exquisite, making the listener really feel a part of Plan 37. I like that feeling. The penultimate song is named Attack Of The Crummy Crummies. The pace is ramped back up here with the aggressive vocals returning to the Plan 37 sound. The energy that comes out from the song throughout is superb and is a real pick-me-up for the closing couple of songs on the album. Plan 37 appear to be on a mission to finish the album with a bang. Last up is the album's title track Say Goodbye. The perfect song to finish the album on. It perfectly sums up why I love Plan 37 and the whole album. It takes the best of what the album has to offer, hard hitting pop punk anthems that will get you dancing, singing and smiling. Say Goodbye is about saying that last goodbye to somebody you care about. There is a good time party feel to the song rather than more of a sad mournful sound that you might expect. That's exactly why I adored the song.
Say Goodbye is one of my albums of the year. It's superb and deserves yours and everyone else's attention. It's not like much I've heard recently and really is just a breath of fresh air. Just go and check it out!
Stream and download Say Goodbye here: https://plan37.bandcamp.com/
Like Plan 37 here: https://www.facebook.com/Plan37
This review was written by Colin Clark.