The members of the New York City shoe-gaze-indie rock band Phantom Wave all met online – today’s answer, you could say, to the old advertising method of pinning your name and phone number on the college bulletin board. This quartet describe their debut EP Sixer, as” “vibrant red and white mountains shimmering all the feelings.”
Members include Ian Carpenter on vocals and guitar, Mike Horowitz on guitar, Nick DiPillo on bass and Rachel Fischer on drums. The EP was recorded at the Seaside Lounge in South Slope Brooklyn and the group practices regularly on the Lower East Side.
Sixer starts off with “Breath” – a quiet ethereal sound clashed together with hot, fuzzy guitar effects on the chorus and an inspirational sounding melody. “Fantasma” features a nice ride cymbal washing alongside a droning guitar. This one sounds like psychedelic meeting the harder edged tones of alternative, which I guess you could call shoe-gaze then, right? The loud deafening guitar at the end sounded great to me. “Invitational” gets very dramatic and softer at times with nice, intricate guitar work. This song to me was a little mix of Arcade Fire and Pixies. The drums get really good at the end, too.
“Shadower” is a dynamic tune that doesn't pull any punches – it really shows off the band’s talent quite well. “Aztec” is a fantastic shoe-gaze, trippy instrumental with heavy droning guitar and even heavier use of the hi-hat cymbal. The effects are sonically enticing as well. The music builds as if you can picture two enemy sides battling each other in some war. “Western” starts off a bit like the Velvet Underground’s “SundayMorning” but then it drudges loudly along in the band’s own style of shoe-gaze. The tempo picks up faster towards the end – chaotic and forceful!
Phantom Wave definitely has carved out a solid approach throughout Sixer. Tender, haunting melodies and warm and bold sounds are my takeaways from this New York quartet’s debut.
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