The Phantoms “S/T”
Everything about The Phantoms screams rock n roll, from the name; the script the names written in; the cover (disenchanted youths in a record store) to their label, Rum Bar. Indeed that’s a label which almost seems to be on a mission to single handedly bring back proper rock n roll.
Hell, the opening track on this release is even called “Baby Loves Her Rock N Roll” and is a tale of a girl with a rebellious attitude. Along with songs like “Tears Me Up Inside” it’s a classic delivery of good time rock n roll. It may not be startling new or inventive, but it’s damn good fun! Also, creating a great sound of throw away rock n roll, played with a cool attitude, as shown by “Ditch Digger”, is surprisingly bloody hard to do.
There is also something a bit ‘different’ about the Phantoms, which makes them stand out from the crowd. “Coming After You” has an almost sixties garage sound to it. Whilst “Chump Change”, with its snotty punk attitude, has us reminiscing about the short lived ‘new wave of new wave’ scene and the brilliant These Animal Men. When we get to the opening riff of “Atomic Riff”, we had to check that we hadn’t accidently switched to an old, forgotten, Rolling Stones track.
On the whole, it’s fair to say that the band keep things relatively simplistic in their approach, but it sure is effective. “The Ballad of Overend Watts” is ‘proper’ New York sounding rock n roll i.e. we’re talking New York Dolls and Ramones rather than over hyped Strokes.
This is just a really good rock n roll album. The Phantoms come across as a band with their heart in scuzzy rock n roll and display the influence of great bands like The Stones, New York Dolls, Ramones and D’ Generation. It kind of reminds us of another band, who if there was any justice would’ve been huge, The Star Spangles. If any of these bands mean anything to you, and they should, this is a must purchase.