Campfire krautrock puzzles from the eclectic Scots
Scots electro-folk-rock mystics The Phantom Band are sticking to their guns, which can’t be an easy thing to do. Their first two albums, ‘Checkmate Savage’ (2009) and ‘The Wants’ (2011), pulled together elements as diverse as krautrock, campfire sing-songs and pure, pulsing pop. ‘Strange Friend’ is all this and more. Intra-band friction is the volatile fuel, apparently, and it produces the urgent motorik beats and soaring chorus of ‘Clapshot’, the jumpy acieeed rock of ‘Doom Patrol’ and the magical shooting-star synths of ‘(Invisible) Friends’, while somehow making a coherent, thrilling whole of it all. Perhaps singer Rick Anthony is the glue. His rich baritone is the kind of voice you’d lay down weapons to follow.