Phantom Forth


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AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson

Originally released in an edition of 300 copies in 1984, The EEPP by Phantom Forth is a hidden gem in the expansive catalog of legendary New Zealand indie label Flying Nun Records. While the label was best known for releasing jangly pop bands like the Clean and the Bats as well as some more out-there noise rock groups such as the Dead C and Bailter Space, this EP is much different. Phantom Forth played dark, haunted post-punk that could possibly be likened to goth rock or coldwave, as they featured shivery, minimal drum machines, the Cure-like bass guitar, and gloomy vocals from all three bandmembers. Their songs are abstract and dreamy rather than overtly catchy, but they still contain arresting moments that warrant repeat listens and reflection. The lyrics are about alienation, loneliness, and faulty relationships, and the music has a similarly lost, confused feeling. It's easy to see why this album might have been overlooked at the time of its release, but it's a fascinating rediscovery several decades after the fact. [Dark Entries gave The EEPP its first ever reissue in 2016, including unreleased demos as well as the group's contribution to Flying Nun's 1983 compilation The Last Rumba.]

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