For those smart enough to have jumped on the Phoenix bandwagon already Bankrupt! has been a long time coming. It represents the fifth album for the band, and their first release in four years. For those fans concerned about the prospect of a more experimental offering emerging from the flames of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix you can feel safe in the knowledge the Versailles four-piece haven’t swayed too far from the beaten track.
Starting out with Entertainment which sounds like the child of Turning Japanese by The Vapors and True Love (For Now) by Spector, the album was entirely worth the wait, and exceeds expectation. Each track is pure and definite. S.O.S. In Bel Air shapes the vibe of the album. While there appears to be a lot more focus on electronica and synth there is still the influence of lead guitar pinning most of the tracks down. Lyrically it also sets the tone for further tracks like Bourgeois and Oblique City.
Trying To Be Cool is one of their most obvious and poppy tracks to date. It has an almost Motown rhythm and bass line, covered in a fuzz of 80’s synth. Title track Bankrupt! deserves the exclamation mark and sits as a good central point for the album, the Love Like A Sunset of the new record.
Drakkar Noir is crafted to dance to, it has the catchiest of choruses and the phaser guitar up against the brilliance of the keys. It should carry across as a firm favourite at festival season, given as Phoenix are already confirmed for Coachella and Rock am Ring. It closes with a distorted ice cream van like tone which leads into the next track Chloroform.
Closing track Oblique City is a highlight which is a hard thing to achieve on an album so good. It features a brilliant flow lyrically and the undercurrent of piano taps make you wish it could keep on going. The closing Eagles-like guitar picking is a touch of genius and a beautiful way to fade out.
There is every chance this could be the album which pushes Phoenix out to more ears than ever before and in doing so may mean they are lost forever to those who have held the secret so close to their chests for so long. Only time will tell.