I got my introduction to the Phantom Family Halo
's new full-length, When I Fall Out
(Knitting Factory), via "White Hot Gun
," which dusts its chugging psych with hints of Queens of the Stone Age's fuzzy desert sound (albeit filtered through classic rock) and ends by melting down into a get-on-your-knees riff battle. Multi-instrumentalist and main man Dominic Cipolla doesn't top that moment anywhere else on the album, but his reverence for and commitment to the hippie-seance vibe of the 60s and 70s—right down to the cheeseball lyrics and pervasive reek of incense—is as admirable as it is peculiar. (In a recent interview
, he admitted, "I'm pretty confused about what is going on in today's world. I'm still finding music from 40 years ago that compels my ears and mind.") It'd be easy to simply file Phantom Family Halo alongside psych-rock contemporaries like Dead Meadow and Black Mountain, but the bubbly sci-fi fantasy vibe of the new album's closing track, "Vital Energy," is much more appropriate as a soundtrack for riding a magic carpet through a cloud city made of gumdrops and lasers than for banging your head slowly in a cloud of meaty, buzzing guitar. —Kevin Warwick Acid Mothers Temple headlines.