Phantogram, 'Nightlife' (Barsuk)

8
Nightlife
Critical Mass
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Label: Barsuk

by David Menconi

"This is the future, this is the future," singer-keyboardist Sarah Barthel repeats in a breathy, insistent murmur over a loping drumbeat and Josh Carter's chiming guitar on Nightlife's "Make a Fist." Lots of psych rock can be murky and meandering, just coasting along. But Phantogram drives straight through, with a clear purpose, no rest stops. This six-song mini-album follows up last year's breakthrough full-length Eyelid Movies, and seems almost as obsessive about staying in forward motion, with grooves and hooks that are equally insistent -- catchy, but content to blow right past. The last sound on the record is the honking of migratory birds.

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