Silent Planet’s Garrett Russell addresses child abuse on newly released ‘When The End Began’ B-side, ‘Shark Week.’
Silent Planet has always been about using their music to broach difficult, heavy subject matter and try to break down social stigmas. Whether it’s deeper discussions about mental illnesses like Dementia and Alzheimer’s (‘In Absence‘), vapid consumerism and vile marketing (‘Vanity Of Sleep‘), widespread opioid abuse in America today (‘Share The Body‘), political deception and historical warfare (‘Northern Fires (Guernica)‘, or even the LGBTQ+ homelessness crisis (‘Visible Unseen‘.) 2018’s ‘When The End Began‘ LP, along with their previous two records, haven’t just been out-spoken works, but they’ve been well-spoken pieces as well. The very same can be said of their newly released B-side, ‘Shark Week‘, a song whose title sounds more like a placeholder than anything else and which didn’t make it onto their last record.
‘Shark Week‘ is about the child abuse vocalist Garret Russell suffered at the hands of a parental figure, and comes as one of the most directly personal songs from the group of late. It’s about this abuse dealt from the hands of a loved one that’s viewed as cancerous and as a blight. But as he screams in the third verse, “Growth will eclipse adversity” and then just moments later, “Clinched-fist past meets my open palm“, this is the frontman and Silent Planet telling the story of past traumas, of older darkness, being purged with a burning new light and unconditional love. It’s a defiant statement that whoever the subject of this song is about – whether Garrett himself, someone he knows, or just someone that’s he met – they are not the physical and psychological wounds and damage that was inflicted upon them; that they can move on, shut the door on their past, and find their own way; no longer the victim.
Like much of Silent Planet’s fellow material from their much-lauded third LP, this new song musically and lyrically never pulls any punches. ‘Shark Week‘ is a very on-brand track for the band’s sound, but here, that’s not a bad thing. Its chorus is definitely one of the more conventional refrains Silent Planet have ever written, but the vocal harmony between Garrett and guitarist/singer Thomas Freckleton really makes up for it, as does the message behind that chorus: “I was the sound of a shutting door, I was the sound of the pain that you can’t ignore.” Sprinkle in the band’s usually arresting sense of atmosphere, some tastefully used melodic synths, and with punchy, polished metalcore riffage and drumming, you cannot deny the impact and heart on display. Hell, ‘Shark Week‘ is far better than most B-sides from bands and releases in their scene right now. So much so that this could’ve easily been an A-side crusher on ‘When The End Began‘, even if it does sound a lot like ‘Firstborn (Ya’aburnee‘.)
Check out Slant Plant’s newest heartfelt piece below and catch them in Australia this October when they support Northlane.