Home Read Phantom Planet | Devastator

Phantom Planet | Devastator

The L.A. pop-rockers return from the dead with their first studio set in 12 years.


This is one of those albums that was originally slated to come out back in May. Then it dropped off the schedule and into limbo. Apparently at some point in the last week or so, its release date was quietly announced as this Friday. But then it came out a day early. So don’t feel bad if you lost track of it somewhere along that circuitous route. Nor if you also lost track of L.A. pop-rockers Phantom Planet in general, since they’ve pretty much lived up to their name lately — they haven’t released an album since 2008’s presciently titled Raise The Dead. To their credit, they haven’t reinvented their wheel or jumped on any bandwagons for this comeback set — they still traffic in the same brand of lush, expertly crafted, Fountains of Wayne-meets-OK Go-style pop-rock singles as they did way back in the days when actor Jason Schwartzmann was their drummer and chief claim to fame. And their whole approach goes down just as smooth as ever. So if you think about it like that, they’re still right on track. At least until they vanish without warning again.

THE PRESS RELEASE: “It could be a look of understanding, a gentle nod, or a small smile. Whatever the gesture may be, Phantom Planet recognize it as a symbol of their union’s strength without even uttering a word. The Los Angeles alternative-rock quartet — Alex Greenwald [vocals, guitar, keys, songwriting], Sam Farrar [bass], Darren Robinson [lead guitar], and Jeff Conrad [drums] — share an unspoken chemistry that only strengthens over time. In fact, the heartbeat of the band pumps at its loudest on their fifth full-length and first album in 12 years, Devastator. “The heart of this band is the feeling we get when we play together or when we listen to a song we recorded,” smiles Alex. “The sound we make together is something special, indescribable, and dare I say, magical. When it happens, we all give each other a knowing look. To use a Ghostbusters reference, the streams cross, and the finished product is inexplicably way more than the sum of its parts.” That’s always been the case for the group since their 1994 formation. They first powered up deep, dynamic, and definitive alternative anthems on their 1998 debut, Phantom Planet Is Missing. This signature sound crystallized on The Guest in 2002. Lead single California earned a gold certification and served as the unforgettable theme to the four-season hit drama, The O.C. Between Phantom Planet [2004] and Raise The Dead [2008], they hit the stage with everyone from Sting, Elvis Costello, No Doubt, The Zombies, and Guns N’ Roses to Incubus, blink-182, Panic! at the Disco and Paramore. And their music popped up in The Amazing Spider-Man, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, Smallville, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and beyond. After an emotional December 2008 show, they mutually engaged a hiatus before a brief live reunion four years later.”