Phaser

Sway

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    6
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Phaser's atmospheric rock is well calculated. The band has a suitable name and most of the song titles and lyrics will be familiar to fans of psychedelic rock. Conventional (and already taken) song titles include "Baby Blue," "Sway," and "Can't Get You Out of My Mind." This is a by-the-book blend of space rock, shoegaze, and Brit-pop that makes decent use of each style, but isn't sensational at realizing any one of them. That's not to say that this is a disposable debut full-length from Phaser. Emotion and depth do come out in the gospel-tinged "Sweet Marie" and other big-sounding epics such as "Would You Believe?" And it's commendable that the band recorded this well-produced record itself, before having it reissued by Emperor Norton. It's just that the Washington, D.C., group doesn't quite reach the heights you are hoping to hear. It all stays comfortably below the line of something ready to run free, though Sway is still comforting nonetheless.

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