“There are undeniable songs in their plenty here. It’s not clever, but Phantom Pop deserves to be big…”
Wild Party | Phantom Pop
In today’s online culture, where thousands of half decent bands exist, seemingly millimetres away from breaking the surface, sometimes all it takes is one song. One song that possesses such a calm assurance, killer melody and a knack for staying in your head for, not days, but weeks on end. Amid an inbox bursting at the seams, it is these songs that mark a band out as worthy of attention or, sadly, worth skipping over. What little-known Texans, Wild Party, have across their debut album, are quite a fair few of the former category.
Kicking off with the lead single and chief attention grabber, ‘When I Get Older’, you’re greeted with a perfect snapshot of what this band is made of. Frontman Lincoln Kreifels’s incessantly, achingly catchy melody ducks and dives over top of some grubby guitars and bubbling synthesizer – and that’s just the first verse. When it does burst into its smart-casual, effortless chorus after just 35 seconds you’ll be wondering why, at the time of writing, the band are yet to reach 1000 Facebook ‘likes’. Greater things lie ahead.
Another standout cut, ‘Out Right, showcases more of their pop sensibilities, sitting somewhere between The Killers and Phoenix with its synth-swept, bubblegum hooks and jerky, claustrophobic beats. The devastating ‘Take My Advice’, with its dancefloor-ready rhythm section adds a touch of vintage The Rapture into the mix, while Kreifels wonders aloud ‘I wanna know if you think about me half as much I think of you’. None of it is reinventing the wheel by any stretch, but with such strong melodies, you won’t care.
The lack of any real exploration only becomes a problem when the quality dips, as on a small handful of the albums’ peripheral cuts. ‘Life’s Too Short’ is fairly basic indie-pop by numbers, and on both ‘Violet’ and ‘Lo Fi Children, the band stray too close to pop-punk, losing any sense of the groove and rhythm that makes their standout tracks really, er….standout. Phantom Pop’s second half is by no means a washout though. The bruised ‘Walkin’ exhibits a great vocal from Kreifels as the song recaptures the strut that make Wild Party such a pleasure. A more reflective moment comes in the form of ‘New Light’, which features a light smattering of acoustic guitar alongside another singalong chorus.
Across Phantom Pop’s eleven tracks Wild Party display talents that many a band would give their house – or parents’ basements – for. There are undeniable songs in their plenty here. It’s not clever, but Phantom Pop deserves to be big.