The Disco Biscuits – Planet Anthem

March 18th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Planet AnthemA Philly jam-band with an energetic live show, The Disco Biscuits transcend the live setting surprisingly well on Planet Anthem. The album is an interesting fusion of electronic and rock music overflowing with effects and a two-sided atmosphere. Rather than centering Planet Anthem around single material, Disco Biscuits choose an interesting concept for their sound- an album that works together as a whole. Ultimately, it’s this decision that makes Planet Anthem worth a listen and perhaps a little more likable than it should be. While listen one and listen two might have you expressing some surprise over how enjoyable you find Planet Anthem, it’s not until multiple listens that the Disco Biscuits’ latest really reveals itself. As Shrek would say, Disco Biscuits are “like an onion.” They have layers. They may be a little stinky at some points, but Planet Anthem is a surprising success if only for the fact that it’s better than your first judgements may indicate.

The funkiness of Planet Anthem is undeniable at some points. “On Time (Featuring TU PHACE)” is most clearly single material, with synth galore, a sweaty dance attitude – even a feature on MTV’s Jersey Shore. Planet Anthem impressively manages to stray away from this formula too much, though, and avoid the monotony of club bangers. One is good, but one is enough. The production throughout is stellar and makes for a cathartic, energetic experience while providing a nice unity to Planet Anthem. “The City” comes off as the best example of this with a beautiful vocal melody and some distinct layers of instruments to complement. The lyrics are nothing to gush over, though, as becomes apparent at the commencement of “Loose Change,” “Money is the root of all evil / Money makes you feel unbelievable / You know money / You can buy a half priced life / great deal for a steal you know money / countries go to war I guess we’re all whores for money.” It’s been a while since I heard such a generic string of words that wasn’t an ironic statement. To put it simply, the lyrics are somewhat atrocious. But don’t fret. Redeeming factors run abound.

Planet Anthem’s redeeming quality is its extraordinary production. Not only does it make each song individually listenable on some level, but it also acts as a unifying factor that makes Planet Anthem interesting from start to finish. Whether they go upbeat and catchy or downbeat, mellow, and dreamy on their latest, Disco Biscuits prove they’re more than just a live band. I’m sure they jam well at a live venue, but Planet Anthem provides proof that they’re capable of a little more substantial material.

Overall Grade: 3/5

Download On The Disco Biscuits - Planet Anthem (Deluxe Edition)

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