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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Phantom Phunk

Struggle With Me

Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed a previous set from this act and talked about the variety presented on the disc. This time around that's still present, but they seem to somehow merge the sounds better. It creates more of a cohesive work, while still showcasing all kinds of different sounds. I'd also say that this is release is more fun, and overall just much stronger. It's a great time, really. There are both male and female vocals here, with the female ones doing most of the singing, while the male handles the raps. Yes, there is rap here, along with punk, new wave and a lot more. I should mention that I've noted a couple songs where I made out parental advisories needed, but I couldn't hear all of the lyrics that well, so some of the others might qualify, too.

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Track by Track Review
Slightly funky, energized and a lot of fun, there is a healthy helping of alternative rock built into this. The vocals seem to bring a combination of New Wave, punk and modern pop music. This is a great way to start the set.
Every Where We Go
There is more of an electronic vibe to this. This has a serious rap bringing the cut into hip hop territory. Yet there are still elements of the textures from the previous tune. This does earn a bit of a parental advisory. I particularly like the later sections of the track where the rap segments are counterpointed more fully by sung sections. The song is meaty and very cool.
No Hard Feelings
Now, this brings some funk. The bass starts it in a pure funk zone. The cut works out to a high energy punky jam that's so cool. The bass work reminds me a lot of Les Claypool, and there is just a bit of a Primus edge to the whole track really. Overall, it might be closest to Red Hot Chili Peppers, though. The lush layers over the top are classy. This leans toward progressive rock in some definite ways.
Something Certain- People Say

There is definitely a punky edge here. I'd say that this high energy stomper calls to mind what you might get if you merged the Chili Peppers with early No Doubt. It's a lot of fun, and shows a different side to this outfit. The keyboard elements bring some more hints of progressive rock at points.

Cheap Trills
Fast paced, high energy and fun, this has a good deal of punk rock in it. There are some definite artsy elements at play, too. It's echoey a lot of the time on this opening section. It turns to a menacing jam that's part metal and part punk. Then it fires back into the central structure, but with more meat on the bones. Rapping comes in over the top. This gets another definite parental advisory. It's such a unique and cool tune that shifts and changes frequently, yet retains the full-on fun approach throughout.


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