PHANTOM PLANET IN ALTERNATIVE PRESS (March 2002)
HEADQUARTERS > Los Angeles, CA
SUGGESTED LISTENING > The Guest (EPIC)
Phantom Planet count a respected indie actor (Jason Schwartzman) and a hunky model (Alex Greenwald) among their members. Not that these things matter, of course. What is remarkable about Phantom Planet is that their debut album is a summery pop-rock tour de force. Taking cues from the inspirations Greenwald and Schwartzman namecheck - Elvis Costello, Radiohead, Flaming Lips, Weezer - The Guest is straightforward without being cookie-cutter. Impeccably catchy choruses and impassioned singing frame styles ranging from alt-country to crunching Britpop to joyful new-wave power-pop.
"Our influences are growing older," Greenwald says. "You have the teen-angst thing going through high school; you have the 'What am I doing here?' in college; and post-college you have the 'I thought I didn't know what I was doing then, look at me now, I have exceptionally no idea what I'm doing.' You get more of a level of awareness that ou have no idea what you're doing."
Despite being in their early 20s themselves, the band don't have that problem. "Everyone in the band has other stuff going on," Schwartzman says. "But you know that when we're together, there's nothing else going on but the band. It's everyone going for it." [AZ]