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In horse racing parlance, a ‘dark horse’ is a horse that emerges from a pack of more fancied competitors to claim unexpected victory. If The Getaway Plan was a racehorse, they’d be the ‘community syndicate owned’, 50-1 battler bolting away to win the Melbourne cup, and their third LP Dark Horses would be both the secret and soundtrack to their conquest.
From the moment the dynamic rock of lead single Landscapes makes way for the music box intro, escalating riffs and stadium sized melodies of F(r)iends it is clear this is not The Getaway Plan that made either Other Voices, Other Rooms or Requiem, but an entirely different beast altogether, one more akin to a unicorn than a dark horse.
Dark Horses takes you on a spine-tingling journey through the confines of the restless creative minds of its creators, a place where every idea is fully explored and possibilities seem endless, unearthing all manner of unexpected sonic delights.
From the blues-infused monster groove of the soulful Castles In The Air to the synth-laden mysticism of Dark Horses or the stripped back grace of the sparse Monuments, every track seems perfectly in place, with every note contributing to an immersive listening experience that will leave you spellbound.
Matthew Wright’s unique timbre always stood out, but on Dark Horses the not-so-secret weapon has found a way to reach new heights. Whether crooning delicately on mesmerizing Baby Bird/Effigy, or soaring above Battleships furious stomp, Wright’s performance is simply stunning, with every single twist and turn Dark Horses conjures thrusting his vocals into exciting new directions, as every note hits you in the feels.
Clint Splattering’s guitar-work is inspired as he manipulates his axe in all manner of inventive ways, locking perfectly with the inventive rhythms of brothers Mike (bass) and Dan (drums) Maio, and the diverse additional instrumentation and polished-yet-organic production from Samuel K to create absorbing, evocative soundscapes (see single-in-waiting Last Words).
Highlighted by Dreamer/Parallels an 8:44 prog-rock triumph featuring Jeff Buckley-esque vocals, piano, blistering guitar lines, jazzy-percussion and a guest verse from local hip-hopper Freeds, Dark Horses is The Getaway Plan freed from the expectations and restrictions of genre and record labels, and the results are hypnotic.
A triumph, Dark Horses sees The Getaway Plan evolve and overcome the turmoil of lineup changes, label departures, personal problems, financial issues, apparent hiatus and the court of scenester opinion, to deliver one of the albums of the year.
Listen: The Getaway Plan – Landscapes