By Evan Turner
If this band’s purpose was to induce headache-like symptoms, they have succeeded. This self-titled album feels, for lack of a better word, unprofessional.
The vocals are actually quite good, however the background music is extremely disturbing. At times (actually, most of the time) it totally drowns out the vocals and is generally annoying. High-pitched guitars and loud drumming are definitely the focus of this CD.
It surprised me to discover that this is the band that brought us the hit "California," (also the theme song for Fox TV’s The OC) as this album has a very different focus than comprehensible rhythms and dynamic lyrics. The rhythms on this CD are similar on some tracks and seemingly drone on from one verse to the next. A few tracks abandon this, and the vocals are a little clearer, but the background music (or noise) generally distracts from the vocals.
The "bonus" music video included on the album is horrible and pointless. With only one reference to cannibalism in "Big Brat" the band members as zombies eating people while the song plays is utterly meaningless, if not at least a little amusing to see what they think qualifies as a video.
If Phantom Planet toned-down the percussion significantly they would be a much more bearable.