I realize it’s been a while since we posted last, but a lot has gone on these past months. My recording studio had it’s best year to date in 2016. So needless to say I’ve been a bit swamped working on projects for bands around the area. I’ve also been doing a lot of recording with Latvian Radio. Our Bassist Billy Matheny has been out on the road all year with his band The Strange Constellations in support of his new album on Misra Records.
We have been writing new songs and recording drum tracks for our next release. I’m not going to Jinx us by giving out a release date just yet. Clint has laid down about 10 tracks with a few more to go. So far it is sounding stellar. Look for some summer shows to be announced soon.
What’s new? Hello Everyone! The Phantom Six are playing a show on March 28 2015 with Sebadoh and Qui at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown WV. We couldn’t be more excited. We’re all fans of Sebadoh from way back in the day.
We’ve been playing very little since December.. Billy Sheeder has been in Israel tuning steel drums (try going through customs with a Peterson strobe tuner!) and is now back and recording a record at Mark’s studio with Kelsie Cannon under the moniker Dry Ships. Mark is in winter hibernation working on a new batch of Phantom Six songs and also doing some recording for other area bands/artists. Billy Matheny is wrapping up a new solo album himself with Bud Carrol at the production helm. Woody has been sick and had to spend a little time in the hospital but is out and making a speedy recovery (yay!). Clint-mo is holding down his fort in Cameron doing some occasional session drumming at Zone 8 Studio and shoveling tons of snow with his old 1940’s tractor.
Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#855 in the Series) is The Phantom Six, Plastic Rain Sitting on the outskirts of Morgantown, WV near the lunacy that is West Virginia University ( voted the “Number One” party school in the nation on and off for years by many different publications ) comes one of the best, well hidden garage bands out there today; The Phantom Six and their phenomenal debut, Plastic Rain. Under the direction of lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter/producer, Mark Poole (at his own Zone 8 Recording Studio, an often swelteringly hot, two room laboratory where Poole is both Jekyll and Hyde), this album is full of cool, crisp leads and rich, enigmatic lyrics. Add to it the floating harmonies and you get this fully produced gem with no empty space for the ear. It is brilliantly busy yet still tight. The opening track, “Corianna,” starts us off with a sonic boom of guitars and big back beats from Clint Sutton’s pumped up drums telling us the story of a mysterious obsession with a girl from the past. Quickly followed by “Inspiration,” another great lyric about a strange muse of a girl, and we have the perfect recipe to start our pop/rock cocktail. The title track with its power chords and big hand claps is fun and “Scenes Like This” with its Kinks-like, doot-doot-doot backing vocals and the Keith Moon-like fills of Sutton (who is a real highlight throughout the album) show us that Poole is a great songsmith and a really versatile vocalist. He even shows off a fun falsetto voice over some great head-banging instrumentations and Brian May type guitar fills on “Losing Control.” There are the sweet, threaded harmonies of the ballad, “Shades of Sunday,” and some country twang straight out of the Alex Chilton school of Memphis Pop on “Big Airplane” and Poole and guitarists William Sheeder trade off perfectly crafted leads over the entire cd. The showpiece for the entire band is the track, “Help Back”, with its flowing riff and some virtuoso, spiraling bass work by Billy Matheny in addition to many grooving, stop/start breaks, rave-ups and tags. The album ends with a number, “Envelope” that is right out of The Zombies‘ “Odyssey and Oracle”. There are snippets of The Romantics, Tom Petty and Big Star as well as the aforementioned 60’s British Invasion bands yet the band still has an original sound that is all its own with Poole’s familiar West Virginia drawl that we all know and love in my neck of the woods. This may be their first cd but these guys have been playing music with each other for a long time in other variations of this band and it shows in every fun filled, danceable track. West Virginia may be primarily known for its coal, but the Phantom Six would be the states musical diamond mine. – Bubby Lewis, Frostburg, Maryland USA
Billy Matheny, Billy Sheeder & Mark Poole at the Adelphia, photo by Bentuibi Timely
WV Rockscene has named The Phantom Six’s Plastic Rain #2 in the top 10 cds of 2011! “As great as the richly arranged songs are, and they’re all pretty much standout tracks, the production captures an energy and a raw feel that helps make Plastic Rain arguably the best record of the year from a West Virginia rock band.”
Plastic Rain, can be purchased from Amazon or download from I tunes.
Also check out Phantom Six drummer Clint’s solo CD, “Clint Sutton“. He plays everything on it. It’s power-pop masterpiece in the vein of a Matthew Sweet or The Posies/Big Star kind of sound. And of course the drumming is awesome.
Bassist Billy Matheny, in addition to rounding out the rhythm section in the Phantom Six, also plays keyboards in Ohio’s alt-folk favorite’s Southeast Engine. Billy also has a rocking CD out with his band The Frustrations, “Born of Frustration” – look for it!
We’ve started recording yet another CD that will include a mix of new songs and newly recorded versions of some of our favorite tracks from the Moon years, possibly even a 63 Eyes track thrown in for good measure. So far it’s going great. We’ve laid down about 20 songs but will probably pare it down to the best 12 or so before we release it. Stay tuned.