Band – Bankrupt
EP – Rocket To Riot City
Release date – late April 2008
Label – PiAr Records
Sounds like – A freight train crashing into a Ramones concert.
Bankrupt have quite an apt moniker really. In this current economic decline, there couldn’t be a more fitting name. Whether things are that bad as regards the economy in Hungary, it’s perhaps something worth steering clear of, lest we have yet another blog with a ‘top 10 songs about being completely skint and having to sell your family on the internet to make some dough.‘
Despite the fact one of their songs is called ‘Straight Outta Graceland‘, Bankrupt are a 3 piece band from Hungary’s capital city, Budapest and they play punk rock at the same speed as Superman if he decided to form a band. Okay, a slight exaggeration, but the frentic pace of opening track, the aforementioned ‘….Graceland‘ thunders along with incredible tightness and relentlessly efficient urgency. It’s the kind of no-bullshit, dirt-track riffage and pace that you’d associate with Motorhead-punks, Zeke.
In contrast to this first wave of unstable, breakneck speed, Bankrupt offer a more punchier, full-bodied sound on ‘Years of Disastersâ€™, which romps past with a slightly melodramatic feel, interspersed with light, flamboyant guitar flourishes the predictable, but rich-sounding backing vocals. ‘Sidewinderâ€™ picks up the pace once again, sounding like early Bad Religion mixed with the melodic intentions of the Descendents if they decided to create a connection between the destructive nature of missiles and erratic female behaviour.
The highlight is the anthem-like ‘Memories of the Undergroundâ€™, which already sounds like one of those classic punk rock songs from the past, combined with such persistent enthusiasm and grace. The nasally drawl of vocalist Rocco brings to mind the work of Billie Jo Armstrongâ€™s Green Day (when they were good and not boring us to tears with slamming America) and it has one of those infectious choruses that burrows into your brain with such ease. Managing to write a catchy punk rock song is a seemingly dying art these days, what with hordes of drab-sounding pod people, but somehow, Bankruptâ€™s tunes rise above all this and are genuinely a breath of wonderful-tasting fresh air. Closing track ‘Cinderellaâ€™ chugs along at a similar pace, the alternating vocals between Rocco and William, adding a distinct Dillinger Four, vocal-trade off that I just canâ€™t get enough of.
Like Ronseal Quick-Drying Woodstain, this album title does exactly what it says on the tin. A riot of of explosive sounds that zoom past like a guided missile. The only gripe I have with ‘Rocket To Riot City’ is the length; ten minutes is not nearly enough material to digest in such a short running time. However, what that is on offer is a refreshing blast of spiky, fast-blast of sounds that deserve your attention. More of this sort of thing please.
Bankrupt Last FMÃ‚Â (you can stream the whole of ‘Rocket To Riot City’ here and download some other tracks as well.)
By Ross Macdonald