Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Phantom Family Halo EP "The Mindeater"

when I first heard that Will Oldham (Bonnie "Prince" Billy) and Dom Cipolla (Phantom Family Halo) were working on a record together, I thought it was such a clash of sound that it might not meld nicely. But the more I thought about it, it seemed odd that it hadn't happened sooner. The two most prolific song writers in Louisville that have been operating  and collaborating with other musicians for years had never crossed paths before. And although their sounds are very different from one another, the two do present an other worldly and ethereal quality both vocally and lyrically.
The first 2 tracks from the 'Mindeater' EP are acoustic and lean more in the Bonnie "Prince" Billy world, with departures into Dom's patented tremolo voice and erie keyboard chorus'. And even though they tend to be passing the spotlight back and forth to each other rather than melding together, the formula works, painting a vivid picture of men tortured by their own minds as well as the world around them (a theme both are familiar with). On the second track,  'Roki For Now', Will and Dom proclaim "my eyes were wide, full of sin. knock at the door, I'm a crazy man. I opened it up and you came in."
But it's the last two tracks that make this album a must have. The 3rd track is an explosive 8 minute cover of The Everly Brothers "Wonder If I Care As much" showing the full strength of this alliance with powerful psychedelic guitar and drum solos bleeding into a chorus of them both singing at full tilt that would indeed make the Everlys proud.
The EP ends with "Suddenly The Darkness", an infectiously catchy folk tale that takes us back to the Palace years. With warnings about sin and retribution and a chorus that will climb in your head and refuse to let go, you will be humming this song for weeks guaranteed: "when darkness comes your way, you know to stay away. you have got break your self free, it's the only way to be. you have to stay in the light, and say goodbye to the night.. Suddenly the darkness is coming for you!"
'The Mindeater' EP will be avialable in an edition of 1000 colored vinyl. If you are a fan of either of these artists, grab it fast.
Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Phantom Family Halo
"The Mindeater" EP

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