Bankrupt - Bad Hair Day (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Bad Hair Day (2004)


I've really always wanted to own my own restaurant. I've yet to determine what type of establishment would best suit me -- probably a pizza place, but nonetheless some sort of restaurant. I'm not typically good with money, decoration decisions, or many of the other things that come along with being an entrepreneur, yet the idea just won't leave my head. However, I know myself pretty well, and thus, this will probably never actually come to fruition. Why not? Simple: The prospect of bankruptcy. Something like 80% of small businesses fail within the first year, with bankruptcy being one of the leading causes. Well, businesses aren't the only entity that can go bankrupt, as many a band have proved. The band Bankrupt certainly continue that tradition, and really do exemplify their namesake.

As people who frequently read my reviews know by now, if there's one thing that irks me more than any other, it's when it's overwhelmingly obvious that a band is not really playing, but instead going through the motions. If you can't put heart into your music then please, please, put down your instruments, pawn them, I really don't care, but don't put out records. There are so many deserving bands out there without record deals, that if you can't even motivate yourself to play with a little passion for 36 minutes, you're not deserving of a spot on any record label. In some cases, I don't even care so much that the recording sounds that fluid, that the lyrics are anything special, but play with some fucking heart.

Bankrupt play mid-tempo punk rock, with a few ska tangents (minus horns) thrown in for good, well, for some sort of measure. Maybe I should be grateful that the horrible monotony this album develops is broken, even if it's just for a few brief seconds on random song intros. Nothing deviates from the verse, chorus, verse with four-chord backing formula. It's entirely derivative, right down to the annoyingly nasal voice of the band's lead singer. I'll admit that I've heard worse voices, but this is in no way a compliment, and as a band they should really be striving for more than "oh, well I bet they've heard worse." The interplay between the musicians is far less cohesive than it should be for music of this simplicity; there's nothing to this that should prevent absolutely flawless delivery in every aspect, but alas, it is sloppy. The bass is drowned out almost entirely by the guitars, and the drums are just a clunky afterthought. And as afterthoughts go, that's the same description I have for the lyrics.

I will give credit where it is so due, that these guys are native to Hungary, and have written the bulk of their songs in what to them is a foreign language. It's maybe because of this that I find more enjoyment out of the 4 or 5 songs written in Hungarian as I cannot decipher the lyrics. For those that I can make out, I quickly realize I'd much rather they also be in Hungarian. This is pop-punk fodder at its worst;

And now I know humiliation's / Never felt so good, so strict / With the slave you employ / ‘Cos you're my lady lady Latex / and I'm your bondage boy.
I'd find those lyrics to be funny in one of two contexts: coming out of the mouth of Bob Barker, or at a Stephen Lynch show. Three guys from Europe? Better luck next time. I'll leave with a quote that applies to this record better than what I can say; as a good cook will always tell you, "A cookbook is only as good as its worst recipe."