Monday, September 13, 2004

Phantom Tollbooth

Self-titled EP
Homestead Records, 1986

Not the movie, not the book, not even the Christian music website... Phantom Tollbooth was a post-
Burma band mixed with Chicago style punk crossed with noize-skronk (pre-Shimmy Disk) and maybe even a little bit of Bowery scuzz (thinking early White Zombie when I listen to the opening song, "Jack of All Phobias" ). Vocals and lyrics seem incidental but add some needed trebly color (and it's easier to get gigs if you have vocals).

Last year, their '88 album,
Power Toy received a makover from Guided By Voices Robert Pollard. With the permission of the band, Pollard re-recorded the vocals making a quite different album. You can download two of the tracks here and there's a cool video to the best song of the album there as well. Leader-singer-guitarist Dave Rick went on to Yo La Tengo, King Missile and Bongwater.

"White Out" could have been written by
Mission of Burma and put on their album earlier this year.

"More Paranoia" raises a great racket with an oscilloscope in the mix. Great for putting on the headphones and scaring out the earworms.

Notes: Image ripped from Musicmatch - I can't tell if their tracks are available there or this is just a come-on to download their software.

Trouser Press Entry

Review of the "last" DC Guided by Voices show


Eric XXL said...

hmmm... Is this the album with "Barracuda"? If so I have this somewhere and haven't listened more than once or twice. This is better than I remembered, with the exception of the vocals maybe. I think I'll dig it out and try again

Eric XXL said...

ooops, re-read the post and saw that these are from the EP, not Power Toy. my bad

Jim H said...

If you go to the link to the Off=Off Records, you can download some tunes from the "redone" Power Toy (now called Bearded Lightning) with Robert Pollard singing. I recommend "A Good Looking Death"