Despite a legendary live career, the Grateful Dead couldn’t find their sound in the studio, and Phish flirted with the idea of a classic studio rendering on Billy Breathes, but to no avail.
Disco Biscuits have succeeded where many veteran bands have failed. Planet Anthem not only captures the essence of the quartet, but the experimental nature of their live shows. It is an expansive, polished, and perpetually intriguing set of compositions that balances studio wizardry, with musicality and Bisco eccentricity. It succeeds most of the time (“Loose Change” and “Uber Glue,” and “Widgets,” in particular), struggles others (“You and I” and “Konkrete”), but maintains a level of energy that courses, pulses, and throbs through the 13 tracks.
It may be an electronica thing, an embrace of technology and studio finesse, or maybe simply a perspective that disregards the desire to translate the stage to the studio. Disco Biscuits aren’t the only group to find success both live and on record, with Sound Tribe Sector 9 and Umphrey’s McGee garnering recent acclaim for Ad Explorata and Mantis, respectively. But Planet Anthem is another release with similar caliber, and growing affirmation that identity isn’t sacrificed within the soundproof walls of the recording studio.
Planet Anthem is out now on Diamond Riggs.