TK Webb Phantom Parade

[The Social Registry; 2006]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: rock, folk-rock, indie
Others: Gun Club, Jon Spencer, Bob Dylan, Wooden Wand

TK Webb's two previous albums play like vehement denials of the fact that the singer-songwriter lives in NYC. The press doled out countless comparisons to Delta bluesmen when those records dropped, but I hear The Ungodly Hours and KCK as works lamenting their own point of origin, longing not just for folk aesthetics, but folk life.

With Phantom Parade, Webb is not only writing better songs, but also sounding more comfortable in his own skin. His music has begun to bear the marks of the company he keeps, which includes neighbors and art-rockers Gang Gang Dance (whose Brian DeGraw created the album's cover). Webb's avant-garde-isms are subtle — a little clamorous piano in "The Desert," some wavering electric guitar wail in "Which Witch" — but they nevertheless help forge an important part of this song-cycle's identity. And when these edgy indie rock flourishes join with Webb's Lou Reed-esque pop sensibility — and this is often exactly what happens — we're left with bleary-eyed, jangly comedown music in the Mazzy Star/Galaxie 500 vein. Webb's voice banks off clouds of reverb like a streetlamp beaming into a puddle of spilt beer, and sounds much better in a low-lit loft than on a darkened back porch.

1. The Desert
2. Lesser Dude
3. Which Witch
4. You Got Faded
5. Wet Eyed Morn
6. Sunday Night
7. Phantom Parade
8. The Spade
9. Oh Baby No
10. Classy

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