Various Artists

Phantom Guitars

by Mark W. Adams

13 July 2008

 

In the vast pile of “unearthed” guitar instrumentals, do names really matter? Here we have 25 slices of twangy goodness from 25 largely unknowns, 19 of whose monikers begin with “The”: The Gimmicks, The Champions, The Falcons, The Vengers, The Gladiators… “The” list goes on. Phantom Guitars is an excellent survey of sounds that followed in, well, the shadow of The Shadows. Though at times it seems these songs could all have been recorded with the same tremolo-heavy guitar rig, each group manages to present their own thematic variation of the “same” sound. In under two minutes, The Nu-Notes’ “Fury” projects both a western soundscape and a car chase, while “The Traitors” by The Packabeats is slippery, elastic, and novel. Is that a flute in The Planets’ “Jungle Street”? Indeed it is, a fine foundation for guitar noir, as are the bongo and sax, which fuel “Mind Reader” by Johnny Howard Group. And, whoa, Rhet Stoller pulls in a string section to lift off the cinematic “Big City”. Grab your pomade, comb, and leather jacket—this is the good stuff.

Phantom Guitars

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Counterbalance: Elvis Costello's 'Imperial Bedroom'

// Sound Affects

"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

READ the article