Phantom Planet Phantom Planet

Phantom Planet Phantom Planet
At first, Phantom Planet was noticed for its drummer, Jason Schwartzman, best known for his starring role in Rushmore. But this summer, their sadly-ignored sophomore album, The Guest, got a big boost when its infectious sun-pop single "California” became the theme song to breakout hit The O.C. But despite playing on this record, Schwartzman is now gone and so is the band’s inclination toward clean, melodic pop — on this self-titled third effort, fuzzy, propulsive rock’n’roll is on tap and free-flowing. This album rides early Elvis Costello like a pony around the room, whipping it with a copy of NME that features Hot Hot Heat on the cover. Recorded after 18 months on the road supporting The Guest, this album is that rarity that actually captures the propulsive energy of a band feeding off of thousands of people, and for getting that feel to tape, credit must go to producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev). But for switching up expectations and following his rock’n’roll heart — and not, for example, going back to add a single that’s more "O.C.” — credit is due to front-man Alex Greenwald. Here’s hoping that a young rising band willing to evolve their sound and their muse becomes less of the freakish anomaly this seems. (Epic)