It's become painfully obvious, Colorado Springs, that you like metal. You're all about licks, riffs, fills, solos and egregious hairstyling chicanery. Be it in the form of a Camel-smoking 14-year-old with his seven-string Ibanez dangled willy-nilly down around his ankles or in the form of some dumbass former KILO deejay playing abominable faux-Queensryche riffs over at the Gardens, there's no escaping it: You don't just like metal, Colorado Springs, you like like metal.
And dude, you have been seriously sleeping on some stuff here. Between the constant stream of disgruntled, screaming youth pouring out of Pueblo and the anal-expulsive banshees in the Springs' own The Great Redneck Hope, if you're still wanting to hear some quality local metal, you don't have any excuse except that you're either lazy or willfully ignorant. Or maybe you just don't like hanging out around the most awesomely dirty people you've never seen.
Meet Planes Mistaken for Stars. Hailing from Denver, by way of Illinois (they moved from Peoria a few years back), PMFS used to be a pretty pleasant, clean-cut bunch of young men playing emo-tinged hardcore. Rumor has it they started hanging out with some Cañon City grindcore kids or something. Accounts differ, but at some point shortly after they moved to Denver, they started growing out their hair.
That was something like six years ago. Last year, they opened for Motorhead. They probably scared Lemmy -- they're just that awesomely gross.
Last time Colorado Springs heard anything from PMFS, it was a couple of years ago, in the basement of the High Life House, where they'd just played to promote their LP Fuck With Fire. Conversation overheard briefly after the show's end:
Kid: "Wow. Your music just made me, I don't know, like really, really angry."
PMFS Guy: "Awesome. We go for that. Hold on to it, brother."
Kid: "No, dude, I am, like, so totally angry. This is weird."
PMFS Guy: "Right on!"
The kid was right. Planes Mistaken for Stars shows are visceral, intense experiences, full of anger and sweat and flailing arms, yet somehow entirely comforting and genuine; they're prime evidence of why the late, great music critic Lester Bangs wrote shortly before his death, "Hardcore is the womb."
Counterintuitively, the band is a bunch of really sweet guys. Sweet guys with 40-inch greasy dreadlocks and a disinclination toward wearing shirts, but sweet nonetheless. They've gained a statewide following since the last time they were here, with their Westword award in 2003 for Best Underground Band, and they've gained a national following with their tours with such better-knowns as Thursday, Cursive and The Ataris. Luckily, they don't sound anything like any of those bands; Planes Mistaken for Stars is kind of an angry, driving hybrid of Black Sabbath and Fugazi, but with more screaming and the aesthetic sensibility of a Rasta Andrew W.K.
And now they're hitting the (comparatively) big stage. On June 19 at 32 Bleu, they're having their second of two Colorado shows to celebrate the June 15 release of their new, discomfortingly named LP Up In Them Guts. Ew. They'll be playing with Harrison Bergeron, Fear Before the March of Flames and Red Cloud. Come down and get a face full of hair, an ear full of noise, and a nose full of bacteria. You'll almost certainly love it.
-- Brian Arnot
Planes Mistaken for Stars with Guests
32 Bleu, 32 S. Tejon St.
Saturday, June 19, 8 p.m.
$7 in advance: $8 day of show, all ages
955-5664 or www.32Bleu.com