Phantogram : Eyelid Movies

<img src="https://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/phantogrameyelidmovies.jpg" alt=" " />Phantogram get a bit of a rushed start with their first full-length, <i>Eyelid Movies</i>. ...
Phantogram
6.7 Barsuk
2010 

Phantogram : Eyelid Movies

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Technology has made all forms of electronica easier to produce & more ubiquitous in the world, thanks to Korgs, ProTools, and, of course, the internet.  Saratoga Springs’ Phantogram – Sarah Barthel & Josh Carter – don’t reinvent the indietronica genre, but deliver a nice piece of work on their debut full-length, Eyelid Movies. The duo’s first two EPs last year, Phantogram and Running From the Cops, shared a bunch of tracks, and all but “Voices” and the instrumental version of “Running From the Cops” are also featured on Eyelid.  Phantogram‘s “Mouthful of Diamonds” opens the LP on a strong note, thanks to its high, restrained, indietronic beauty, followed by the indietronic procession from both EPs, “When I’m Small”.  However, “Running From the Cops” beatz-tronica is not as good, and while the synths are more interesting on “Bloody Palms”, it still isn’t fully put together; both pieces were also on both EPs as well, and Phantogram would have been better served doing a new version of the latter, while dropping the former entirely. However, most of Eyelid Movies is new material, which often times are nice, but too subdued and unvarying, such as the high synths of “All Dried Up”, “You Are the Ocean and I’m Good At Drowning” and “Let Me Go”.  The sustain lifts the chorus, but not the turntable verse, in “Turn It Off”; it is only when the duo fully gets bigger & grander with “Futuristic Casket” that they really excel (that’s especially true when Carter takes lead vocals, like on those two, as opposed to Barthel’s smoother tones). If Eyelid Movies is a bit of a rushed full-length, ‘just take the EP and add a few tracks to get it out in time’, that’s understandable, but it also doesn’t have to be a severe limit (look at the excellence of Los Campesinos!’s Hold On Now, Youngster…QRO review – built around the core of prior EP Sticking Fingers Into SocketsQRO review – or Phantogram’s labelmate Ra Ra Riot’s The Rhumb LineQRO review – out of their self-titled EP – QRO review).  Still, these sounds aren’t a bad place to start.

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