Strange Exchange

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After a period spent wandering in the pop-punk wilderness, Plankeye is back with a more grown-up, rock-oriented sound and grown-up, occasionally embarrassing lyrics (sample couplet: "With age comes time/Leaves to the earth must fall"). What the band has going for it is a great guitar sound, solid tunes, the strong singing voice of Eric Balmer, and the majority of the lyrics (most of which are not embarrassing). Those who can't bear religious messages probably won't even notice them, even on relatively spiritually explicit tracks like "Chemicals and Sleep" and "The Way of the Earth." Those who just love to wallow in great guitar sound will love every minute of Strange Exchange, from the ringing arpeggios of "Let Me Be Near You" to the cathartic power pop roar of "This Is." Recommended.

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