Have you heard the one about the Three-Hungarian-Punk-Rockers? No? Well that would be because it’s not a joke but a damn good fact! Bankrupt are Rocco, William and Shorty, three Punk Rockers who have embraced everything that is Punk and spawned a fabulous boot-clomping, fist-pumping, high-jinx-octane and bombastic Punk Rock album in, ‘Rocket To Riot City’, their fourth after the previous discs: ‘Shorter Than Danny DiVito’ 2006, ‘Bad Hair Day’ 2004 & ‘Listen’ 2000.
The album title, ‘Rocket To Riot City’ is more than a nod and a wink towards The Ramones album, ‘Rocket To Russia’, and along with a sprinkling of The Decendants and both musical and political views from a number of Fat Wreck Records bands, Bankrupt, here have a lively, if not a little short, five track album.
First song, ‘Straight Outta Graceland’ starts with three lines from Tarentino’s flick, ‘True Romance’ before jumping straight into a fast-paced full-throttle Punk song that has an underline of Rockabilly that fuels the fire in the belly of any real Rocker. There are also the added fabulous tongue-in-cheek lyrics of, “Tonight the king will return from the grave and…// Bigger than Jesus, Stronger than Satan // Salvation’s coming straight outta Graceland”. Brilliant!
Next we have a smash of Green Day, The Living End and The Clash in the politically fuelled dirty Punk of ‘Years Of Disaster’ which includes chugging guitars and sneering lyrics. Then we have, ‘Sidewinder’, a more sing-a-long Street Punk that mixes up the likes of The Briggs and Orange with once again Rocco’s distinctive vocals that are a real treat.
It’s nice that between some serious songs that tell the tale of Hungary going down hill politically and economically over the past 60 years, here in, ‘Memories From The Underground’ we have song a little more light-hearted, that is about touring experiences specifically those that include one-eyed dogs, cat’s controlled by evil spirits, squat types, Hells Angels and immigrants not to mention Lisa and her dog…well, it maybe Rock’n’Roll but I like it!
The album closes with a short sharp shot of Pop Punk in, ‘Cinderella’ that sounds a little like a cross between MXPX, Homegrown and early Blink 182. It’s catchy, it’s melodic and it’s about L-O-V-E. A nice little ending.
Bankrupt have released a good fourth album, even if lengthwise it’s more of an EP, and once again whilst the US were the kings of Punk for a while, over this side of the pond in UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and now Hungary there are some great Punk bands showing that finally we are bringing Punk back - they can keep their Emo!
I guess if I had to pick holes then I might say that this album is full of obvious musical influences that mean that each song sounds familiar, even if the subject matter for the most part is genuine and original. That said, this should be the band’s breakthrough album, and who knows next time around there will be more people who don’t just think that Bankrupt is something to do with the credit crunch! Rocket! Yeah!