Abigail Grush

Abigail Grush

The Phantom Beat

Barsuk Records

Most of the time, albums are pretty predictable. You have a pretty good idea of what you are going to hear before the laser starts reading the disc. There are, of course, those exceptions where the music takes you totally by surprise. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much when I dropped Abigail Grush’s The Phantom Beat . What came wafting out of my speakers could not have been more intriguing. Her sound is a bit tough to describe, but it combines elements of cabaret, jazz, and Merrie Melodies. Grush and her musicians weave guitars, drums, bass, clarinet, French horn and a glockenspiel together to create a wonderfully unique and engaging sound. Many of the songs reminded me of the songs in old Fleischer and Warner Brothers cartoons like Betty Boop and Merrie Melodies. The fact that the band is presented as Ub Iwerks’ style cartoons probably proves that connection. Despite the irreverence of the melodies, Grush’s lyrics are quite strong and add an additional layer of tension to the songs. The only record I can think to really compare it to is Ann Magnuson’s The Luv Show from a few years ago. The Phantom Beat is not only quite interesting and unique, but an infectious album that quickly becomes addictive.

Barsuk Records, P.O. Box 31016, Seattle, WA 98103, www.barsuk.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee
    Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Ramen Shop
    Ramen Shop

    A young man searches for the secrets of his family and great Ramen.

  • Southern Avenue
    Southern Avenue

    Keep On (Concord Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Don Felder
    Don Felder

    Don Felder took music fans down Eagles’ memory lane at Disney Epcot’s® Garden Rocks Concert Series, and Michelle Wilson loved every nostalgic moment of it.

  • Alfred Sergel IV
    Alfred Sergel IV

    Alfred Sergel IVtet (The Tam Tam Group). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Tanika Charles
    Tanika Charles

    The Gumption (Record Kicks). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives