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- Raven Town Witch by The Phantom Family Halo
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I always struggle to pin down exactly what The Phantom Family Halo really are. It's kind of a flighty mixture of drone, psychedelia, Americana and post-punk with deceptively dense arrangements and everything viewed from a funny angle through coloured glass, wibbled with age. Often there's more than a shade of krautrock to proceedings, given that the songs tend to be based around a one-chord infinity chug, with simple vocal melodies, throbbing synth drones and a gently plodding rhythm section holding down a metronomic pace.
Yet despite this the songs are concise and accessible in the same way as you hear from bands like The Cult of Dom Keller or Follakzoid; a clever balance of hypnotic dronekraut and subtle pop, opener 'Hard Apple Moon Stomp' even has a bit of Dead Skeletons in its tribalistic repeato rattle of buzzing synth and guitar dirge. The closer 'My Friends are Spiders' on the other hand strips everything back to just an acoustic guitar and vocal, Frogs style, along with some subtle Joe Meek-esque ghost wibbles, joined later by weepy electric guitar and fiddle, but for the most part this album's full of buzz'n'wah electric guitar, chirrupping, humming synths and a rhythm section set on "repeat". Dank vibes from Louisville's ever-reliable Sophomore Lounge. Best label.
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