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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 19 October 2010
After the first few listens, I've got to say that the follow-up to last year's wonderful 'Checkmate Savage' is a massive leap forward.
They've retained the guts and soul of the last Lp, but smoothed off some of the rougher egdes and grown as songwriters. There's a great folkiness to it, but they also know how to hit a groove when the need arises.
Personally, I can't get enough of it. Few bands around are this inventive, and I love the fact that they come across, like all the best bands, as a gang (or clan).
And this cd is almost worth buying for the artwork alone! Late contender for my Lp of the year.
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on 6 November 2010
Loved their first album so I was looking forward to hearing the wants and I certainly wasn't let down. This band continue to make unusual quirky sounds with good lyrics, perhaps a little more electronica than their debut, my favourate tracks are "Everybody knows it's true" "Into the corn" & "Mr natural". If you are looking for something thats a bit different give this album a listen.
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on 6 November 2010
I'd apologise for the joke, but then I'd've deleted it if the sorry was sincere (and then there would be no need to apologise). Any way ... "The Wants" is a successful second album by the Phantom Band, following the accomplished and sublime "Checkmate Savage". As in their debut, the Phantoms treat the numerous influences on their sound with respect, and if you listen closely you will hear them winking and tipping their hats to a myriad of musical genres ... and they still sound unique. I'd say this album is as strong as "Checkmate Savage". My favourite track is probably "Goodnight Arrow", the final track; a brilliant finale to a fine cd.
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on 23 October 2010
The Wants is a much more coherent collection of epic tunes than their first, Checkmate Savage. It pulses between darker electronic and more delicate acoustic songs, without breaking beat. Perhaps it's missing the surprises of their debut (I'm thinking about that vocal bass part) but that's no bad thing. The entire thing is quality and I know that the tracks will set themselves apart further on more listens. Sound-wise I keep picturing Battles (the band) in a folky pub; I'll have a pint of heavy. Part of you and part of me, go together perfectly.
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on 19 October 2010
Another fine recording from the Phantom Band. I don't know if they're progressing so much as heading off in multiple directions. It's not as surprising as the first album and I might quarrel with some very 80s electonica but if you don't like a track, then the next one will provide something very different. This is certainly one for lovers of folk, dance, guitar, synth, rock etc...
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on 2 November 2010
This Scottish band have just released their 2nd album. On first listen it sounds very "now", with a lot going on in the songs, sounding like a crazy mish-mash of Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear, with a bit of Super Furry Animals thrown in. By this I mean the way they take seemingly disparate elements and blend them to make an interesting and engaging song.

The opening track A Glamour is a perfect example of this. It opens with the sound a blunt knife scraping on a piece of wood, then some African-sounding percussion leads into a stomping beat with high-pitched whoops before the singer comes in, sounding foreboding as his deep voice croons "I was foraging..." O continues in a similar vein, with an almost electro beat seeming almost incongruous with a singer who sounds like Nick Cave's Scottish cousin.

After the playful sounding Everybody Know It's True, the pace slows down for the epic The None Of One. It starts off with gentle folky guitar and banjo for 3 minutes or so before exploding into life with propulsive beats, synths and vibes. The most straightforward and shortest track is Come Away In The Dark which is a very pretty song, all longing vocals, picked guitars and piano.

One of the strongest tracks comes later in the album. After starting with what can only be described as `squelching noises', Into the Corn is a brooding track slightly reminiscent of the National, with the regretful refrain "into the corn I fled... everyone I knew there was dead" building towards a climax at the end.

The album finishes with Goodnight Arrow, which starts out serenely, evolving into a floating before ending on a nice crescendo. There's a lot going on these songs, and at times it's more a case of standing back and admiring them, rather than loving them, but nevertheless I think people are going to be hearing a lot of these guys.
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on 23 October 2010
In a world seemingly overrun by Keshas, Jason Derulos and the dreaded curse of auto tuning, it's reassuring to know there is still 'real' music out there if you search hard enough. Exploring new avenues with their wonderful follow up to Checkmate Savage, there is something here for all lovers of great music. Buy it now and have your faith restored.
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on 11 March 2013
The Wants is eccentric and intriguing. There are so many possible influences here it is difficult to define. These guys have boundless energy, creativity and a great sense of humour.
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on 6 March 2015
Perhaps their best. Great album.
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on 30 March 2012
Though they've become very accomplished in their chosen sphere (i.e. smug alt-folk motorik), The Phantom Band's six members don't have a decent new idea between them on this evidence &, as with their previous album, The Wants is an aimless melange of many other, far superior, bands' music. Everything you'll hear here has been assimilated third hand - tried, tested, SAFE. Even their name is stolen - "borrowed" from Terry Riley - a ham fisted attempt at "homage" (i.e. more plagiarism), no doubt.

The Phantom Band = art rock for Daily Telegraph readers. Avoid.
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