Tuesday 6 March 2012

Phantom Family Halo Let It All Fall Out

Last year the ever prolific Bonnie 'Prince' Billy put out a great mini-album backed by Brooklyn-via-Kentucky psych band Phantom Family Halo called The Mindeater, and it was a pleasant surprise (as in its existence - Bonnie isn't monikered the Prince for nothing...). I knew nothing of the band, yet last week was handed their new album through Knitting Factory Records. When I Fall Out mixes elements of psych, Kraut rock, and Roxy Music-esque '70s glam (the band's influences are listed as John Cale, Pretty Things, Can, Faust, Alice Cooper, Amon Duul, Guru Guru, Bryan Ferry, Scott Walker, Wire, Syd Barrett, Roky Erickson, Throbbing Gristle, "and every Kraut rock band you've ever heard and then some"), a heady concoction that is immersive and yet incredibly free-flowing, the album finishing before you feel like it's really begun. The thing is, whether it's the swirling psych angst of 'White Hot Gun' or the more laid back sounds of 'Dirty Blade', not one song feels wasted, throwaway or loose. All of these things combine to create a tight album of songs that feel like archived tracks from 1973, yet leave you feeling refreshed - if a little spaced out...

Inspired by concept albums of the past, such as Pretty Things' SF Sorrow and Wire's 154, When I Fall Out is the first of two Phantom Family Halo albums to be released in 2012 - a "dark" and a "light" album. The songs were all written following the death of lead multi-instrumentalist Dominic Cipolla's close friend and bandmate who died at age 33.

You can grab the album here.

Phantom Family Halo - White Hot Gun
Phantom Family Halo - Dirty Blade

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