Fans of the band Phoenix may have realized by now that they have struggled to replicate their album that propelled them to fame, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. In the eyes of some of the band members, that trouble lies within the thievery of their core competencies and differentiating factors as a band. Chief Suspect: The Royal Concept. Phoenix’s lead singer Thomas Mars explained in an interview with Pitchfork that they didn’t want to replicate the what made songs like “Lisztomania” and “1901” great, as the essence of that mantra was being blatantly copied by bands like the Royal Concept due to the exponentially high possibilities of gainful yields it was likely to produce. How similar are they you ask? The first time Mars’s sister heard “Gimme Twice” by The Royal Concept she legitimately believed it was just her brother and his band producing yet another smash hit.
Lead singer David Larson doesn’t even deny his uncanny resemblance to Mars, as he stated “Thomas Mars is probably the reason why I dared to start singing. We had another singer in the beginning, but people always said that I sounded like ‘that dude in Phoenix’ so I felt like if he can do it, I can do it.” Despite the passive-aggressive drama within this European grudge match. I still can’t deny that The Royal Concept is an entertaining and wildly exciting band. I may be a music critique, and that respectful acceptance of unoriginality may scratch some people the wrong way, but I cannot help but enjoying the duplicated flair underscored by this “Phoenix 2.0” of sorts. The bass drum coupled with clapping soundbites resembles a similar recipe of entertainment to a laugh track included into a comedic sitcom, as the audience subconsciously feels the inclination to copy or respond to that natural and fast human sound with the appropriate reaction; in this case, dancing. This crowd-energizing and animating methodology along with fast, low-neck chord play and a singer that sounds “like that dude from Phoenix” brings the captivation and charm of these Swedes full circle to form song that I just want to dance around like a fool to.