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Terraplane - 1981 Arrives



ARTIST: Terraplane (USA)
ALBUM: Arrives [EP]
LABEL: Stress Records
SERIAL: Mk1
YEAR: 1981

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Johnnie G. - lead vocals * Travis Adlington - guitars * Robert Woodington - bass, vocals * Chad McCall - drums, vocals * Bart Libby - keyboards, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Jack The Ripper * 02 Legs * 03 Secret Treaties * 04 Sexual Fantasy * 05 Starship Troopers

WEBLINKS: www.myspace.com/terraplane1


Background
Years ago, the late 90's to be exact, I located and made a phone call to one of the members of Terraplane - guitarist Travis Adlington, but have since lost my notes from that informative conversation! From what I do remember and with a little help of their MySpace page is Terraplane were based in the gorgeous Lake Tahoe region of Northern California. The group had an extensive following opening for a number of well known names, biggest of all being a then unknown band from Ireland - U2. Impressive, but Terraplane's only commitment to vinyl was this EP which is not too difficult to find, but is starting to rise in value like many Indies from this era.


The Songs
Many collectors' lists describe 'Arrives' as prog (that's how one vendor who shall go nameless suckered me), mainly do to the poor man's Roger Dean influenced artwork, but it's really a hard rock record with a few progressive rock touches here and there. Obviously influenced by Blue Oyster Cult, even naming one of the five tunes 'Secret Treaties' although though it's charmingly misspelled on the sleeve as 'Seceret Treaties' (no proofreader guys?) I also detect a slight NWOBHM influence on the opening salvo 'Jack the Ripper' and although vocalist Johnnie G's faux British vocals are a bit embarrassing, it's a pretty cool track sort of like Genesis meets Limelight. The bluesy and mercifully short 'Legs' as well as the banal 'Sexual Fantasy' are throwaways and not much to write home about although 'Starship Troopers' dips back into the BOC sound for its inspiration and comes out a winner.


In Summary
At some point, Terraplane did some demos with Don Dokken and one of these 'Tell The Truth' is available on their MySpace page along with a few tracks from 'Arrives' for your listening pleasure. Although miles away from the best record I've ever heard, Terraplane 'Arrives' should be on the want lists of those into obscure American hard rock, while progressive fans should steer clear.


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