A note from PL3K:

Planet Log 3000 really hasn't had any press, per say, other than a few mentions of little or no substance here and there when we have an upcoming show with a national act. When Planet Log (the previous banjo-ized version of our band) released the CD, Venus in Leopard Print, however, dozens of newspapers and 'zines were kind enough to review it. Most reviews were very favorable. Some reviewers offered constructive criticism (with which we generally agreed). One reviewer shredded us more thoroughly than Oliver North would shred a signed confession of personal misconduct from his superior officer, stomped on our miserable remains, and then spat on us. (Can't win 'em all.)

We've included reviews, good and bad, from some of the more popular sources here.

Thanks to all of the reviewers (even Brian Manke -- people certainly noticed his review!) and to all of the local radio programmers who give our old band's CD airplay.

Rational Enquirer, #8
Planet Log Venus in Leopard Print CD

A sense of humour reminiscent of the Dead Milkmen, a guy singer who sounds a bit like the singer of the Cramps, a girl singer that sounds a bit like the singer for the Avengers, no idea how to play instruments, and a banjo make for an interesting listen. Primitive and garagy.

US Rocker, May 1996
Planet Log Venus in Leopard Print

If Venus in Leopard Print had come out in 1987, it would have been a huge college radio hit. I am not a big fan of quirky low-tech pop, but there's no denying that Planet Log has their shit together. The songs (18 in all) are pretty good for this genre; carefree and catchy with "funny" lyrics and singing. I'm sure that they do not intend to rock but, hey, it's Cleveland, so they do jam pretty well (not like Pantera, but you wouldn't expect that). People who like early Shimmy stuff will lap this up, guaranteed.

-- Joe Stankiewicz

Rock N' Roll Reporter, May 1996
Planet Log Venus in Leopard Print

*Retro-ish/dance/pop style modern rock

Cleveland's Planet Log give an updated retro feel to the scene with their 18 song release Venus in Leopard Print. To see what all the hype is about, check out tunes like "Your Bra and Star Trek," "Planet Log Jam Dance Party" and "The Iron City Song," which, if I'm not mistaken, is about the Burgh's own Iron City Beer. Basically, if you even remotely like the B-52's, you'll love Planet Log.

The Cleveland Free Times, April 24, 1996
Planet Log Venus in Leopard Print

Planet Log don't sound like they're entirely serious, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. They're like a forgotten early '80s New Wave garage band, reworking ideas borrowed from the Ramones, Devo, the B-52s and Blondie, losing the punk intensity (except on an occasional outing like "One Good Eye") and emphasizing the colorful campiness of Blondie and the B-52s. Like them, Planet Log is steeped in late '50s/early '60s junk/pop, dressing it up in modern, tongue-in-cheek, ironic lyrics. Lyrics are, in fact, Planet Log's strong suit. They're clever and well-crafted, even when they're silly and gimmicky, tossing around references to their favorite indie record stores, '50s pin-up Betty Page and Star Trek. They also write some lovely serious lyrics on songs like "The Iron City Song," but they undercut them by failing to alter their goofy, good-timey musical approach. Their biggest problem is shoddy production, which takes simple songs with sing-song melodies and reduces rather than enhances them with unvarying thin, chinka-chinka sound (Banjo in the instrument mix doesn't help and the guitars sound equally dinky). Eighteen tunes thus recorded is taxing to listen to. Planet Log would have been better off spending time and money in recording perhaps ten tunes really well, adding some thickness and textural contrast to stretch the band's sonic parameters. They sure sound like they're a lot of fun live, though.

-- Anastasia Pantsios


(Read it for a laugh.)

Scene, March 28-April 3, 1996

Like many other moms, mine also told me, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it." Well, unfortunately for Planet Log, I never really listen to anything my mom says.

If you combined the more annoying aspects of the B-52s and Devo's music into some horrid conglomeration, then you would be in the region of Planet Log's VENUS IN LEOPARD SKIN. The even more bizarre aspect is the fact that if you combined those two bands lyrically at once, the abnormal lines of Planet Log would be their obvious mutant offspring.

On "Your bra and Star Trek," the sophomoric ramblings take form. I had the worst time removing your bra/At least you didn't giggle when you told me that I snore is half the song's dedication, then it turns its focus on other matters. You weren't the first girl I knew who liked Star Trek/Didn't know how I got you I must've used The Force. While they are obviously making these songs with their playful twistedness in mind (God, I hope that's the case), it just comes off as mindless banter. Plus, you never combine Star Trek and Star Wars references together, even on Planet Log.

The most painful aspect here is the use of Dave Miller's banjo. The banjo is one the most overlooked and fantastic instruments in all the world, but Miller's weak, clanging strums would make the people of Kentucky hang him in effigy.

The other tracks that span the album are that of lo-fi plodding. The lineup is rounded out by Martin Drabik on drums, Dale Houston on bass, and Shelley Drabik on guitar. The one positive is that Drabik's voice can be one of fluttering fairness at times, but when her singing is accompanied by the clamor of Planet Log's music, it doesn't survive.

But in the sea of quirky and quacky phrasings, the band does reel in an insightfully humorous line from time to time, like on "I Like Guys:" Went out with a nice girl, never got my way/Next guy got her pregnant, Didn't make my day. Even a blind fisherman with no bait will catch something now and then, though.

For the most part, the disc is an unlistenable assault upon the ears. To let some of their own poison work against them, a snippet from Houston's "Mr. Thrusty" will take us out: Giggles, drunk grins, stumbling through the park/Lost shoes, wrecked cars, guess I missed my mark.

-- Brian Manke

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