Plan B

  • Plan B
  • Plan B EP (Ger. Wall CIty) 1985 
  • Fortune Favors Fools (Ger. Wall CIty) 1986 
  • Three Songs by Plan B EP (Ger. Wall CIty) 1986 
  • The Greenhouse Effect (RCA) 1990 

Fervent young Germans with a love for English-speaking bands, Plan B have emerged from the shadows of heavies like U2 and the Clash to become solid rockers in their own right. The quintet’s debut EP is marked by good intentions and an obvious delight at being able to create a ruckus: “Gimme the Reason” is a fine, foot-stomping shoutalong.

The Three Songs EP (recorded as a four-piece) has the same mixture of grit and grandiosity that made London Calling so electrifying. If these guys are simply following Strummer and crew, they’re doing a damn fine job of it.

Fortune Favors Fools boasts a five-man lineup and a full complement of ingredients: insistent vocals … la Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett, edgy guitars and crackin’ drums. “Stop These Men,” “House of Decline” and others resonate with the inflamed passions unleashed in the quest for a meaningful existence. When they sing “It’s the sound of us/Trying to break free” in “Plan B,” it’s hard not to cheer ’em on.

Bolstered by increased confidence and, for the first time, slick, professional production (by Pat Collier), Plan B became an impressive rockin’ machine on The Greenhouse Effect, the quartet’s first Stateside release. Still in dogged pursuit of truth, justice and electric epiphanies, they fight the cool fight on “Mad World,” “The Day to Be Jesus,” “Devil’s Train,” etc. Comparisons no longer apply.

[Jon Young]