Monday, July 18, 2005:

Hangnail Phillips

Hangnail Phillips -- Wit's End
Hangnail Phillips -- Thought Boxes
Hangnail Phillips -- Be Yourself
Hangnail Phillips is ... a bit hard to describe. Picture someone comfortable recording rock, country, folk, and dance/pop/electronica, with a quirky sense of humor and an endearingly off-kilter perspective.

"Post Cold War World" is a lot of fun, and "Angora Sweater" and "Wit's End" are both postworthy (as are the other bonus tracks hidden in "Wit's End," all quite different from each other), but I think I'm going to go with "Be Yourself" and "Thought Boxes."

"Thought Boxes" is a sort of droning downtempo track with Indian cadences, finger cymbals, backwards guitar, brooding menace, wind chimes (!), and the ghost of Jimi Hendrix showing up for a short solo. Very odd and interesting work.

"Be Yourself" sounds like a lost Who track. The song has a solid classic rock vibe to it and, frankly, I wish it were on the radio rather than much of the classic rock that's there. But de gustibus non disputandum est, or maybe I mean fabas indulcet fames (that might explain a lot. Recently I rented a car to take a trip across the Florida panhandle, discovered it had no CD player, rolled across the FM then the AM bands, and discovered that the best thing on was Peter Cetera. I give North Florida radio ... the finger).

Monika Bullette, who I wrote about previously, appears here with Phillips on vocals (actually, according to Phillips' Myspace page, Phillips did "most everything" and Bullette did "everything else"). Neither of these musicians are setting out plates of beans; they cook up dishes much more satisfying and unusual.

Said the Gramophone beat me posting from this album, but Hangnail Phillips' site has more mp3s for download: the entire album, in fact. Recommended? Yes.

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