Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

Phantom Theory & Gunning For Tamar - Split CD


I like split singles, a lot.

I also like CDr’s. So I was pretty happy to have a combination of both to amuse my ears with. The bands in question, like real couples, whilst they couldn’t be more different, are pretty good bedfellows. The spiky two man racket of Phantom Theory with the post hardcore yearnings of Gunning For Tamar, both hailing from Oxford.

Both Phantom Theory tracks, “Trancedog” & “Playground” have a catchy angularity to them that makes me very happy, like a cleaned up version of Gay For Johnny Depp, or a less dancey Death From Above 1979.

The skill is there but it’s certainly nothing original. I miss bands like this, but the good thing about records is you can listen to them whether the band are still performing or not, I’m just not sure if this is something either new & fresh or accomplished enough to make me play it over, say Murder Of Rosa Luxembourg. I would be intrigued to see them live though, as it’s a good amount of noise to be made by only two chaps.

Funny then that Gunning For Tamar also bring to mind bands that have long since ceased to function, in this case Far or maybe even Braid. It’s so very 90’s. The singer’s vocals have that unhinged maudlin beauty that seemed to disappear & be replaced by that weird Fall Out Boy whining that I’ve never got along with.

New it is not, but both tracks have something so genuine about them I can’t help not only liking them, but also feeling wistful for a time long gone. I think that’s a good thing.

(Also bonus points for calling a song Norse Blood when it’s the least Viking-ey song ever)

Listen: www.myspace.com/phantomtheory & www.myspace.com/gunningfortamar