Jan 13, 2010

This is some beautiful packaging. I like the pictures on both sides of the record cover, although they are very different (aside from the color) from one another. It’s a great purple color; it’s like a DumDum lollipop or (of course) a crayon. Love the insert from Sophomore Lounge Records. It’s a real photograph (I think!) of a forest with the sun breaking in a misty shine through the trees, and the color of the light is this mauve/deep pink /purple color; I think it looks nice with the pictures on the front and back covers. There is a list of releases printed out and glued to the back of the photo; it is great, very nice. I also like the band insert, with two different but cool photos on nice, thick cardstock. The record itself is this gorgeous baby blue / periwinkle color with nice artwork on the inside circle. All and all, really excellent packaging! On to the music, well the Phantom Family Halo cover of “Hurricane Fighter Plane” I totally love. I actually remember a different cover of this song, done originally by The Red Crayola in 1966, by Alien Sex Fiend, from when I was a wee lass. Needless to say, it sounds completely different than the version done here by Phantom Family Halo, a band from Kentucky. I have never heard the original, but I can hear some ‘60s in the way the singer from Phantom sings it (by the way, the info about The Red Crayola on Wikipedia is worth checking out, it says: “This is a band that was paid ten dollars to stop a performance in Berkeley. If Berkeley’s not having it, you know you’re in for rough sledding.” Ha!), and I would definitely like to hear the original. This version I really like, it’s kinda hypnotic. The singer sounds like he’s mellow and very suave, but actually also a little weird and creepy. I found it to be dangerously enticing. There are awesome guitar (or something!) effects in the middle of the song; it sounds like ravenous seagulls swooping around in the dead of night. Favorite line: “Takes me to the sky above, To the clouds of love.” Meah!, on the reverse side, I am still undecided about. At first listen, there is a little too much going on. Vocally I can hear Blood Bros., Tom Waits, Black Eyes, and some kind of rap / hip hop style. There’s a part in the first song where a child is speaking and I wasn’t into that. The second song I liked better. Easy and nonchalant at first, it later breaks into a more dance punk type of style. Again a lot of Blood Bros. in that one. I wouldn’t have minded a more consistent tempo—not that I don’t like to mix it up, it’s just that sometimes I like to get in a mood. Prominent quirky bass and scratchy guitar. I’ll listen to it more. Overall, very excited about this release.

 –Jennifer Federico (Sophomore Lounge,