Red Planet

We Know How It Goes

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Remember that outta control weedly-weedly solo in the middle of Let's Degenerate's title track? Well, that's exactly what you won't find on We Know How It Goes, Red Planet's first work in three years. Recorded at their leisure in keyboardist/vocalist Chris Dunn's home studio, the album largely loses the racket that used to fray Red Planet's ends (not to mention their live shows), concentrating instead on a tightly crafted set of poppy/rocky gems squirted up with keyboard squiggles, Beach Boys harmonies, and sensibilities matching those of types like Shoes, the Knack, or even Redd Kross. Should the Planet start spelling its Red with another "d"? Well, no. But there's no question that opener "No Force"'s spacy leads and slightly fazed vocals are more about fun and white-leather wingtips than ratty leather motorcycle jackets and getting your teeth knocked out by a mike stand. "Goth Girl" is a funny track about dating the titular archetype set to a sweet Cheap Trick groove, "Changing Colors" is an awesome marriage of sun-dappled vocal harmony and trashy tailgate-party guitar (dig that production, Dunn!), and "H.O.P.E." drops in the Rentals' WEE-oo WEE-oo keys that you've been waiting for since track one. "You better wait in the alley/While we're loading the gear/Show us a good time...Give us some beer." Dig! Elsewhere, the Planet slows things down ("Wrecking Balls and Cannonballs"), jacks into spiky pre-New Wave new wave ("Burning Cigarettes"), and even sells a track called "Good Time." We Know How It Goes is effortlessly happy, and referentially hooky like the solo work of Todd Fancey and A.C. Newman. For some reason it brings to mind Peter Godwin. Cool Speak & Spell cover art, too.

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