There are some tasteful psychedelic swirls here and there lapping gently at the edges of Phonograph’s self-titled debut, but for the most part the band sounds like a spot-on interpretation of Tom Petty fronting Summerteeth-era Wilco. On tracks like “Watch and Ward” the group’s songwriting is based in bar-band alt. country, but the chorus flourishes of cascading electronics and atypical guitar solos coupled with Matthew Welsh’s nasal deadpan vocal delivery is an oddly compelling mix. The same goes for “Radio Waves,” which rides smoothly on an acoustic guitar riff, a soft bed of wurlitzer and, unexpectedly, a crackling, aged optigan. It could be this is the natural progression of sound for this type of music, after the modern age has opened up a stable of previously unused instruments and sounds for direct descendants of ’70s country rock. It’s like they added this new life blood without becoming the Frankenstein’s monster of genres Wilco eventually became. Keep it up fellas.
Arclight Reocrds: www.arclightrecords.com