The genre-crossing jam outfit Disco Biscuits spent years in the studio between tours and while the process didn’t produce an album in a timely fashion, the often-delayed Planet Anthem finally became a realization right in the midst of their most recent tour.
Picking from a multitudes of genres, the Disco Biscuits are a group known for blending a fusion of trance, electronica and rock and putting it together in one jam band package ranging from tight studio-produced tracks to lengthy, extended live jams.
Planet Anthem represents that variety in genre that the Disco Biscuits are able to easily touch upon. But in the form of a studio album, it becomes a sort of double edge sword. While the variety in style is most welcoming, the album hardly flows seamlessly, as the transition from the trip-hop inspired track “Rain Song” to the rather standard and unimpressive rock tune “Fish Out of Water” is somewhat strange.
From there the back end of the album turns right to the track “Sweatbox,” where vocals come in the form of a hip-hop style instead of the Weezer-like verses sang in the previous tune. These awkward transitions show the band’s range to play all genres, but it doesn’t sit well when listening to the album from start to finish, especially on an initial listen. After a few listens it certainly begins to grow.
The album does have a few really interesting and catch tunes, such as charged-up “On Time” and the more downplayed album opener “Loose Change.” The first video single off the album, “You and I,” is the albums quickest dash of enjoyment.
But after the highs and lows of Planet Anthem I still sit on the fence with the Disco Biscuits. Nothing ever stands out and nothing ever disappoints. Since my jam band love sits with groups like Phish, Grateful Dead and Umphrey’s McGee, it might just be that the Disco Biscuits are a bit too electronic for my tastes. That or they’re simply an average band better built for the live stage.