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Rum Bar Records
May 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
7 ½ /10

Holy crap, rock dogs, The Phantoms are here to blow your minds with rock n’ fucking roll for the ages!

This, from their record label website, says it all: “Fronted by lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Victor Penalosa (yeah, those Penalosas — from the seminal West Coast punk band the Zeros) and who also just happens to be the drummer of reunited rock icons the Flamin’ Groovies, The Phantoms play rock and roll in its purest, most lethal form. Dangerous in their approach, yet cool to the ear, their classic sound evokes comparisons to T-Rex, The Plimsouls, The Hoodoo Gurus, and yes, the Stones. Their timeless approach is drenched in Chuck Berry riffs and the straightforward energy that recalls the days when rock and roll was still wild, menacing, and FUN.”

Fun is what you get on this album – gritty, dirt-under-the-fingernails, empty beer cans and pizza boxes littering the floor, sneering, sweaty, surly, punker bar fun in all its motorcycle chain-wielding, alley-way-brawl glory.

Penalosa is joined by Xavier Anaya from The Trebles & The Hoods on lead guitar, Chris Iandolo from Dizzy on bass, and drummer Ed Masi from Ghosts of California & Sleeping Cranes. They’re a bunch of no-nonsense cats who have paid their dues relentlessly for years, and it shows in their assured playing and energetic songwriting.

Baby Loves Her Rock and Roll opens the album like a hot rod driving through the desert on fire; Two Lane Blacktop’s punky road n’ roll gets down n’ dirty; Ditch Digger takes us back to the stomping ‘70s; ultra catchy The Ballad Of Overend Watts sounds like The Stooges covering Mott The Hoople; and closer Stab My Broken Heart aspires to Arena stage glory whilst holding it’s stabbing punk roots tightly.

The Phantoms rock. Get onto them, now.


Filed Under: CD Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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