Sad Planets – Akron, Ohio

Rating: 4/5
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Released: 2019
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Band line-up:

John Petkovic, Patrick Carney and a bunch of a friends along the way.


1. Just Landed
2. Not of This World
3. Yesterday Girls
4. City Ghosts
5. Bad Cells
6. Want You to Want You
7. (Falling into the Arms of a) Refugee
8. Long Goodbye
9. Heaven’s Devils
10. Disappearing


Sad Planets are a psychedelic rock band who will be releasing their debut album ‘Akron, Ohio’ on April 19th, through Tee Pee Records. The group consists of two main musicians, John Petkovic and Patrick Carney, along with guest musician J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. who appears on the song ‘Just landed’. The duo’s work mixes deft songwriting with experimental sounds on a variety of instruments. It is also a celebration of their friendship that began way back in 1999.

Despite the frequent fuzzy, slightly asggressive guitar tones, much of the music does sound rather friendly, so it seems SP have fulfilled their goals in that respect. Contrasting clean strumming, arpeggios and pleasing 6 string parts in general create a sense of warmth in a more typical way, but the combination of the two styles gives the album more depth. After all, relationships can’t always be perfect and make people content. 

The songwriting here is consistently strong, with colourful (as you may expect from a psychedelic band), harmony that isn’t over the top, off-putting and weird. Soft vocal harmonies contribute to the overall richness of the sound, along with jazzy keyboards and a production style that is human without being raw. The music could be thought of as being like the Beatles during their more adventurous stage, but heavier. The singer’s voice is somewhat reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s, in fact.

Don’t get too excited though, SP’s first attempt at a release isn’t quite as strong as the just mentioned supergroup’s material and it’s certainly not as revolutionary as it. (Of course it isn’t, it’s seemingly been heavily inspired by the band). However, if you’re looking for tuneful light rock, you can do a lot worse than these guys. A lot is going on in every song but nothing sounds at all cluttered. That alone should be respected. You may even be humming the tunes for years to come, if you give the album a chance. Highly recommended!

Review by Simon Wiedemann