Phantom Forth - The EEPP LP
Label: Dark Entries
One of the most obscure projects to come from the legendary NZ label Flying Nun, Phantom Forth was a trio comprised of Debbie Luker, Lorraine Steele, and Paul Luker, none of whom released much outside of this one project barring some even more obscure cassettes in the mid 80s. The EEPP was the one and only record for the trio, released in 1984, now getting a proper Dark Entries reissue treatment, with three bonus tracks, two of which had never been released before now. Where many of the Flying Nun bands aligned with exuberant pop of The Clean, Phantom Forth taps the gloom of the Pin Group (whose Joy Division-y debut actually was the very first Flying Nun release). The scrappy, heavily flanged basslines (sometimes chimed on the low strings of guitar) hold the DIY ethos of urgency and economy that would have earned them a noble spot on John Peel's radio show next to Young Marble Giants and The Fall had this album been pressed in a tiny original edition of 300 copies. The unhinged, shambolic character of their work makes Phantom Forth all the more beguiling, aligning the seasick / rock-tumbler rhythms of the harrowing "Caroline" with the prickly post-punk melodies of "I Don't Know You." All of the heavy flanging and lugubriousness reminds us of Pink Industry. A very good thing, indeed.