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The Terrible Airplane - "2013" (CD)

The Terrible Airplane - "2013" CD cover image

"2013" track listing:

1. You Hurt Like Me
2. Projected Trajectory
3. Television
4. Radio Song
5. Efficiency Deficient
6. Roleplaying the Audience
7. Pandameet
8. Onion

Reviewed by on January 1, 2011

"The larger bulk of its eight tracks are heavy affairs that tread the water somewhere in between acts like Mastodon and Alice in Chains."

Some albums just take time to grow. "2013" by brother duo The Terrible Airplane is an example of such an album, with monster riffage and ambitious ideas but also with its fair share of pit-falls. That's not to say that "2013" is a bad album. The larger bulk of its eight tracks are heavy affairs that tread the water somewhere in between acts like Mastodon and Alice in Chains. Fans of sludgier metal may have found their new favorite band, a band heading in the right direction with its debut full-length release.

The heavier moments and songs featured on "2013" are rather impressive and hit like a brick to the face. "Efficiency Deficient" and "Roleplaying the Audience" are expertly dished out in way that provides maximum impact, with both songs also featuring nice semi-progressive interludes that lead back into the heavier chunk. It’s safe to say that every heavy moment on the record is brilliant and is worthy of any Mastodon or Isis comparison. Even the instrumental "Pandameet" has some similar, exceptional moments.

The thing that holds this album back from blossoming into a great record though is the portion of the material that leans into the grunge rock side of things. "Projected Trajectory" is almost comical in its cheesy arrangement, which features a simple riff filled in with one-line spoken word quotes. It’s not until the four minute mark that "Projected Trajectory" moves on into The Terrible Airplane's fantastic metal chunk, but by that point it’s far too late to save the song. Not to mention there a few other similar cases of this flaw throughout the record.

"2013" is an odd album. The tracks seem to trade off between the metal and rock genres. While one track is a brutal metal affair the following song is firmly planted in grunge rock undertones. Without a doubt "2013" is a rather decent album that does grow on the listener, but it’s also very easy to imagine how much better it would be if The Terrible Airplane could find a better way of merging the two musical elements together. Tracks like the appropriately titled "Radio Song" hold the album back and serve as a distraction to the far superior metal moments. Regardless, "2013" showcases a young band that is certainly moving in the right direction with its interesting brand of heavy metal and the future will surely provide some fantastic material from this brother duo.

Highs: The heavier moments and songs on the album are fantastic.

Lows: The more rock oriented material is forgettable and in some cases drags the album down.

Bottom line: For fans of heavy and sludgy metal, that also don't mind small doses of grunge rock.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)