Phantom Planet – Raise the Dead

Phantom Planet is a rock band from Southern California. They started off their careers by playing shows at venues that most of their friends couldn’t even get in to, seeing as they were still in high school and couldn’t get into the 21+ venues. Since then, the band has been on three labels, most notably their 2007 move from Epic to Fueled By Ramen, allowing the band to gainaccess to a whole new fan base. Signing to FBR landed them a spot on the Honda Civic Tour with label mates The Hush Sound and Panic! at the Disco, as well as Motion City Soundtack.

In addition to a label change, Phantom Planet has gone through some line-up switches as well. Most notably, Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore, Marie Antoinette, I Heart Huckabees) left the band during the recording of their third album to pursue his acting career. Schwartzman was replaced by Jeff Conrad. After the release of the band’s self titled album, Jacques Brautbar left the band to pursue his photography.

The band seems to be a fan of change, as long as it’s good change. Lead singer Alex Greenwald has made it crystal clear that one of Phantom Planet’s biggest goals is to make sure that their sound changes with every record, following in the steps of other bands such as the Beatles, who made the practice an art. They do this so that music making stays fun and new. Greenwald says, “They discover you’re bored and you’re boring.”

Despite being around for so long and having a decent cult following, Phantom Planet only had one mainstream hit with the song “California,” which was used as the theme song for the hit show “The O.C.” This may have been the cause of band being dropped by Epic during their recording of their latest album Raise the Dead, leaving the band scrambling to find a new label. Luckily, Fueled By Ramen came through.

This year is off to a great start for the well-seasoned band: they put out a fourth album, signed to a new label (ok that was late, 2007 but close enough!), landed themselves on a major tour, and put out an awesome video for single “Do The Panic.” I’d say things are shaping up pretty nicely for the band, to say the least.

Phantom Planet’s CD is return to the bands earlier sound, back to their rock roots from the more pop-ish sounds of songs like “California.” It’s a real return to basic rock, simple and not heavy at all, but certainly sure to keep your foot tapping the whole time you’re listening to it. That doesn’t mean the CD is completely upbeat, no. While you have songs that are sure to keep your head bopping, like single “Do The Panic,” there are also songs with a much more mellow and laid back feel to them, like “Quarantine.” You’re sure to enjoy them just as much, though! I think almost everyone can find something to enjoy about Raise The Dead.

Phantom Planet: website | myspace | watch “Do The Panic”

*Hanna Marie

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