|Album Rating: A-|
Almost surprisingly, then, the album is very good. The Others (aka Alex Crawford) does what Dub Police does best, albeit occasionally - make a convincing case for heavier dubstep as a serious force in the electronic music community. One of the best things about Red Planet is that it's far removed from most brostep clichés, a factor which aids mightily in its argument for acceptance as a serious work of music. There are minimal, if any, stereotypical drops, there's a definite absence of shoddily-produced, balls-to-the-walls main sections, and most importantly the songs on the album don't sound like everything else already out there. Probably the best example of this phenomenon is "Spaceman." It's absolutely a heavy song - the bass is wobbly, the kicks and snares are room-filling, and there's a huge amount of distortion. Where it distances itself from other songs of its ilk is that it's a shockingly interesting yet catchy song. Much like the rest of the songs on Red Planet, "Spaceman" has interesting melodies and harmonies complementing the wobbling bass extremely well, a development progressing through the entire song instead of just making it halfway and then repeating itself almost exactly, and most importantly a coherent song structure rather than just wubs all over the place. It's a tale of an intelligible dubstep album in a world full of dumbed-down EDM, and it's clear that the release succeeds in a way people feared would not happen and rises above the toxic atmosphere surrounding it.
Almost counter-intuitively, the collaborations on the album represent some of Crawford's best output. "Feel It" is a nice work of almost chilled-out breaks with the eerie, almost otherworldly sound The Others does so well, while "Fallout" is one of the few bona-fide bangers on the album, ready to make a club go wild while not being an over-the-top, obnoxious experience at the same time. "Antithesis" is one of the best songs as well, taking a creepy, sci-fi instrumental feel and running it over plaintive synth whines and growls and a lethargic breakbeat. As a whole, the album shows a coherent and original sound that stays fresh throughout the entire release and for the most part doesn't focus on individual tracks, instead being in favor of keeping the whole album together. Sure, at times it does feel like parts of the album are there simply to support some singles - the second half of "Showdown / Polaris" as an intro to "Fallout," the second half of "Stargate" as an intro to "The Way You Make Me" - but mostly the full-length actually feels like a full-length instead of a collection of singles. It's a good thing, too - Red Planet displays exactly what can make a heavier dubstep album good, and it's relieving to see what The Others has accomplished. Dub Police has had a stroke of luck here - they managed to end 2012 with a worthwhile release, one which they can use to brag about an excellent year, a year where it's doubtful anyone will complain too much after listening to this.
2. First Flight
3. Freeze The Frame (feat. Geoff Smith)
4. Spaceman (feat. Joker)
5. Showdown / Polaris
6. Fallout (feat. Emalkay)
7. Antithesis (feat. Stamina MC)
9. The Way You Make Me
10. Feel It
11. One Man Show (feat. Lonette Charles)
12. Red Planet