Review: Phantdom Dog Beneath the Moon - In a Light.… (2004) 1


artist: Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon
release: In a Light.…
format: CD-R, MP3
year of release: 2004, 2005
label: Deser­ted Vil­lage (CD-R), Woven Wheat Whis­pers (MP3)
dur­a­tion: 48:49

Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon is described best as sad, eerie acous­tic gui­tar folk with elec­tronic effects. In a Light.… con­jures up images of nightly walks through misty, aban­doned streets. Of man look­ing for solace in a crowded, hec­tic world.

On this first CD, Phantom Dog… imme­di­ately suc­ceeds in present­ing an atmo­spheric style of its own. This is mostly because of the com­bin­a­tion of acous­tics and elec­tron­ics. Most tracks are gui­tar songs with vocals, but there’s also a couple of purely ambi­ent tracks (the two parts of “Eerie Night Falls”), and the last track is very exper­i­mental. This makes for a var­ied album that also has enough con­sist­ency. The many-sided voice of Aaron reminds one, when high-pitched, of Radi­o­head’s Thom Yorke, which is clearly aud­ible at the end of “After The Dark”. This isn’t dis­turb­ing to me, because the music provides Phantom Dog… with a dis­tinct atmo­sphere.

In a Light.… is an album that appeals to me, and at some moments, really man­ages to touch me, like in the catchy “Dreams Look Like Real­ity” and the intro­spect­ive “For Fear, Look Out­side”. Nev­er­the­less, there’s some­thing miss­ing. There’s isn’t a single bad track on this album, but there are too few moments that truly impress me. Too little of this record hangs around in my mind when it is done, and that is a pity, because the con­cept has a lot of poten­tial. Des­pite these lesser points, this is a qual­ity album, that I’d recom­mend to any­one who loves intro­spect­ive and estranging folk. I’ll def­in­itely be look­ing for­ward to new Phantom Dog… mater­ial.

Reviewed by DMK

Track­list:

1. Night­time (4:46)
2. Blue Vel­vet Lul­laby (4:56)
3. Eerie Night Falls part 1 (2:01)
4. Alive With Taut Weary Eyes (6:32)
5. Dreams Look Like Real­ity (3:27)
6. For Fear Look Out­side (6:48)
7. Eerie Night Falls part 2 (1:57)
8. After the Dark (6:25)
9. City of Stars (4:35)
10. I’m Not Sure (7:22)