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Phantom Planet - Big Brat

  by Geraint Jones

published: 22 / 7 / 2004

Phantom Planet - Big Brat
Label: Epic
Format: CDS


Over-derivative Fall-influenced pop on new single from LA-based group, Phantom Planet, which includes several actors amongst its ranks

Taken from their recently released self-titled second album, ‘Big Brat’ is a crunching hybrid of influences, the majority of which could probably be traced back to the pen of Mark E. Smith. Perhaps the parping saxophone adds a hint of the late, lamented Morphine to the mix too. Despite being too obviously derivative, the song is passable enough, though having heard the band’s debut, ‘The Guest’, which was similarly serviceable but again just as derivative - though of different source material - ‘Big Brat’ hasn’t exactly got me particularly excited about hearing anymore of the band’s tougher, edgier sound that the new album supposedly represents. In all honesty, the band is something of a vanity project – numbering as several actors among its ranks – singer Alexander Greenwald appeared in 'Donny Darko' and Jason Schwartzman ('Rushmore') was also a member until quite recently. You wonder if they’d have been signed by a major quite so quickly on musical merit alone without the accompanying marketing angle behind them. Having said that they may well develop and having the kind of friends/influence/funding that attracts the likes of Spike Jonze to direct your video, Dave Fridman to produce your records or to get your songs ('California') made the theme to a hit TV series ('The OC'). All they really need to do is to write some decent songs between movie assignments.

Track Listing:-
1 Big Brat

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