Over the past year we’ve seen the release of many great krautrock and kosmiche-influenced records, so Mancunian proggers PLANK! have their work cut out to see off the competition on their first full-length LP. Nevertheless, as the saw synths of opener Dying For Pigs kick off it’s immediately clear that they fully intend to lay down the gauntlet with Animalism and they work hard with slick drum riffs and precise guitar lines to create something dense and enthralling.
La Luna is where the band really arrive. Sparse chords and a wonderfully kinetic bassline play off against a motorik beat and some Secret Machines–style keyboard ornaments. The lead breaks are seductive, fluid licks of sublime melody.
The tail end of the record offers another highlight in the heavier Self Harm, but it’s nine-minute closer Moolicks that PLANK! intend to be remembered by. This possesses some if the same hypnotic quality as La Luna but it’s almost double the duration, and ideas are allowed to expand into new avenues, motifs play out to their logical conclusions.
Complex, occasionally self-indulgent but never dull, Animalism is a great representation of PLANK!’s sound in microcosm.