Speed Plans


Speed Plans Speed Plans cassette

Three lean and mean cuts of hardcore à la NEGATIVE APPROACH from SPEED PLANS, who continue in the wake of last year’s excellent Statues of God. Blown-out and grimy, the lo-fi recording definitely works in favor of the proceedings, in particular adding a gnarly sheen to the already gnarly vocals. Fast, catchy, and angry, with song titles like “Shut Up” and “Shut the Fuck Up,” this is all I really want from this style of hardcore.

Speed Plans Statues of God LP

It’s always cool when bands can go super old-school without sounding like a wishy-washy imitation, and Pittsburgh’s mighty SPEED PLANS hit that description right on the noggin with whiplash-inducing results. These sixteen tornados of meaty hardcore are strewn with restless guitars and captured with a basement sound that makes this killer LP worthy of a spot right behind your favorite O.G. ’80s records. Commanding tracks like “Jesus Christ” and “Make Them Watch” are an instant win, and this type of authentic fury only gets better with every spin.

Speed Plans Field of Vision EP

The twelve-song 7″ is always welcome because I know the songs will be short, fast, and to-the-point. That’s pretty much what this Pittsburgh act gives us on their fourth offering. Good riffs and angry vocals recall classics like POISON IDEA and NEGATIVE APPROACH, as well as lesser-known Ohio band PLAGUE (shoutout to COVID). The rhythms are creative and dizzying, and while there aren’t any particular standout tracks it goes down nicely in one big gulp. I’m inclined to guess that SPEED PLANS are a particularly excitable live band, as Ron’s previous review of their LP confirms.

Speed Plans More Hardcore LP

Fuck. Getting assigned this record to review makes me realize my misstep in not including SPEED PLANS in my yearly top ten. Forgive me. I shall sing their praises here. Describing Pittsburgh’s SPEED PLANS to someone who hasn’t seen them live is challenging.  Looking at them, one may be doubtful that this unlikely bunch of characters with the odd band name could be any good. My good friend Collin H. once remarked that the singer looks like the actor Will Arnett. Not that far off as he’s really funny and can often crack you up with wicked between-song banter. The bass player may look like someone who just rode his bike back from a PHISH concert (George is cool as hell), and, shit, the whole band is such a wonderful tossup of personalities such as which makes a lot of Pittsburgh bands so great. Once they start playing, I guarantee, you’ll be scraping your jaw off the sticky Rock Room floor by the end. These guys can play and are tight like Joe Biden’s butthole. They completely won me over one night by doing the most amazing cover of “Rambling Rose” I’ve ever witnessed. But what about the record, you say? This, I believe, is their second tape put to vinyl (they have a third, I’ve yet to hear) and like their live set, does not let up from beginning to end. Musically I’d say they’re  a semicoherent mix of classic thrash like NEOS or JERRY’S KIDS with some ANTI CIMEX 12” EP and bits of Japan’s MOBS with modern day sounds of, say, S.H.I.T. All this is overlaid with crazy guitar antics in the style of the aforementioned Wayne Kramer/Sonic Smith variety with maybe a little GRAND FUNK thrown in. Favorite moments are hard to choose but if pressed I’d say “Four Letter Word” for its killer guitar breaks and the epic “Kill Us Both” into “Green War” into “Revenge” for sheer ferocity. Hell, most of the songs run into the next and the longest is a minute-five. How can you get any better than that so why are you lagging? Pick it up chump.