The excellent Phantom Band round off what’s been a wonderful a year with the release of Throwing Bones from the critically acclaimed album Checkmate Savage.
Highlights of 2009, so far, include REM’s Peter Buck's blessing as a convert to the cause, but surely giving Bjorn Again a guitar so they could play Metallica’s Enter Sandman in a Norwegian forest has to be a fitting zenith and in keeping with the surreal nature of The Phantom Band.
This is a good single, a slow burner moving along with a feel close to Can meets Beta Band meets Stereolab. After three or four listens the most noticeable thing, apart from the great driving beat is the change in dynamic with the bass. Mid way through we seem to go into a vocal doo-wop, because bassist Gerry was too drunk to play so Andy mimicked the bass line using his voice. What’s more weird is that it works.
Did you know the Throwing of The Bones is from the culture of central eastern Andes and is one of the most ancient forms of divination? Either that or its something you do with your dog.
Throwing Bones coincides with a tour in November. I’d have selected Folk Song Oblivion as a single and given it 5/5 as it represents the flavour and feel of the live experience far more. However I’m not an A&R man. I’m just a chap who shares a name with a lovable loser and insecure cartoon character.
Review by Charlie Brown