December 22, 2008
The Phantom Band: 'Checkmate Savage' January 20th 2009
Something dark hums and percolates through the fabric of The Phantom Band's music. Although the band's name, song titles ("The Howling, "Burial Sounds", "Folk Song Oblivion", "Throwing Bones") and lyrical couplets, may give the listener a nod towards that fact, it's what they've crafted on record which gives credence to this notion of darkness. What little I've read of this Scottish sextet seems to focus on their being bizarre and strange, but I don't hear it, don't hear anything strange or bizarre, but I like to think I'm a little strange and bizarre (as many of us do, just to stand out from the masses, I suppose), so all I hear is good music, music which conjures images of cold Scottish rocks and blood, blood turned an oily black beneath the hard northern starlight. That's not weird, is it? But then I'm descended from the Norwegian Vikings who ransacked Scotland's Orkney Isles over a thousand years ago.
This is from their upcoming record, Checkmate Savage, due January 20th on Chemikal Underground. Visit the band's homepage here and then make an all out effort to find and listen to "Folk Song Oblivion" and "Throwing Bones", both on the new album, as well. Very good stuff.
the howling [mp3]
at 4:45 AM