For the Weekly Album Appreciation Club
Checkmate Savage is the full length debut of The Phantom Band. An album about details, idiosyncrasies and those little quirks that make a band separate themselves from the pack.
This album could lead you down any number of roads, each one different than the other. From noisy synths, hooky pop melodies and krautrock tendencies, passing through a cappella harmonies to a folksy campfire sing-along. Most songs stand out on their own, not linked to its predecessor, feeling more like a collection of thoughts than a well mapped straight road. I personally think that's what makes this album a memorable experience and the most remarkable moments are those that come a bit out of nowhere.
Songs like album opener The Howling showcases their most straightforward, rich and melodic moments accompanied by the wonderfully deep voice of their lead singer, known under the nickname “Richard The Turd”. Strange, I know.