Capsule Review: HIFI PHANTOM @ The Painted Lady (NXNE 2012)
HIFI PHANTOM are a really intriguing act to me. A swirl of fuzz-pop, I’ve had their Alan Cross-endorsed debut EP All at Sea on regular rotation in my iTunes since it came out last year, but had yet to catch them live. As a result, even though they were on late for mid-week, I made a point to catch up with them (because let’s be honest, fuck the day job during NXNE).
With members from the East and West coasts of Canada, Jamaica and Great Britain, the band’s widespread influences are noticeable but firmly anchored in New Wave synth-pop. Their stage energy is palpable, sharing keyboards and singing group vocals whether they have a mic or not; they’re a lot of fun to watch.
One of their selling points is that they constantly switch instruments, and that can be both a pro and a con; it’s interesting to see the band members playing lots of different things, but it does mean that no one is as skilled at all the instruments as they would be if they picked just one. It also makes for somewhat longer dead-air times between songs while they make the switches.
I see a lot of promise with these guys, all the ideas are there. With just a bit of tightening up I’m sure they could be a really cool act to catch. When they’re on, like with songs Geography and Tear Me Down City, they’re REALLY on! I’d just like to see a bit more consistency in the live show, and I can definitely see that coming in the future, so keep an ear out.