For the last fifteen years, Budapest, Hungary punk rockers Bankrupt have been hard at work perfecting their melodic punk-rock sound. On their sixth release, a four-song EP entitled "Rewound," Bankrupt flex their musical muscles a little, showing that sometimes change is good.
Despite being pigeonholed as a melodic punk band, Bankrupt combine more musical genres than Lucky Charms have marshmallows. Rock, psychobilly, Britpop, surf rock and western are a few of many musical influences that have cropped up in the past Bankrupt releases. The big difference on "Rewound" is that this time, the focus is not punk rock, but on a more diverse and melodic combination of all of the aforementioned genres.
The EP starts off with the instrumental track, "Clint," a surf-rock influenced track that starts the album off on a very mellow but very interesting note. This isn't the same melodic punk rock band that released "Razor Wires and Neon Lights" back in 2009, but rather a band that has taken the past couple of years to mature as musicians.
On the second track, "Rewound," the band's Britpop influences take center stage. "Rewound" continues its mellowed theme, picking up gradually with each track. "Weekend" picks up the tempo a bit more, and the closing track "Happenstance" shows Bankrupt in fine form, showing their more tried and true melodic punk rock sound.
While "Rewound" is a marked departure from Bankrupt's last EP, it does show that no band is truly pigeonholed in to a certain sound. Rather, a band can make changes to their sound, but keep the message and underlying attitude the same without alienating the audience that picked up all of the previous EPs. It is so rare to hear a more established band change up their sound so dramatically, but is refreshing to hear that some still have the balls to try something a little different.
"Rewound" is also an apt title for the album, with its implications of going back in time a little to explore different musical avenues. The cool retro sound of "Clint" and the mellow Britpop track "Rewound" explore this idea the most, while the closing track "Happenstance" sees the band rewinding within their own musical history to their own melodic pop-punk roots.
So while "Rewound" may be opening a new chapter in Bankrupt's sonic journey, one can't help but wonder what musical influences they will explore on their next EP. Big band? Folk? Only time will tell, but fans will definitely appreciate the musical diversity of "Rewound" in the meantime.