The Planet Smashers have gotten by by not taking themselves too seriously. They just played music they wanted to play, and thought other people wanted to hear. But they also when its time to make new music. As founder and singer Matt Collyer told me “we were turning 20 and if we didn’t put out an album we might as well not turn twenty”. Their resulting album is Mixed Messages and it’s classic Smashers.
Collyer states his favourite song “Waiting For Sunset”, which is a very traditional-sounding island ska tune. There’s “D-Dont” which is a little more rock heavy, “Dark Personality”, which is very reminiscent of early punk. But none of these, in my mind, compares to “You Guys Are Assholes, Let’s Party”. Not only is title classically epic – and gives “Super Orgy Porno Party” a run for its money as the best Smash title ever – but it’s a pure smash raucous, speed punk party sound as there is on any smash album, and yet adds a twist as it starts off with almost a jazz-like riff from Alexandre Facteau and his tenor saxophone.
The Planet Smashers were at the forefront of the third wave of ska and the ska-punks revival movement. This album show why. They are friends that just want to have a good time. I had the privilege of seeing them in 2005 when they opened for Simple Plan – once in Victoria, once in Calgary. A smash show is basically an epic dance party. What’s nice is that their sound hasn’t changed a whole lot from nine years ago. A smash show could still be in the saddledome (as it was with Simple Plan), a fraternity – with beer pong, wet t-shirt contests and everything in between – or even your backyard. They are that down-to-earth, but also just that cool.
I love the city of Montreal – probably my second or third favourite city in Canada – but music wise, it might just be number one. The Planet Smashers are part of the reason why.
Mixed Messages was released in early 2014 on Stomp Records.