Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Phantom Raiders - New Sound '67

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The Phantom Raiders were ages 11-14 when they cut their first and only album, New Sound '67, on the Justice label. Based in North Carolina, the sextet consisted of Randy Lee (lead guitar-age 11!!!), Doug Almond (bass), Mitch Miller (drums), Eddie Smith (rhythm guitar), and Ricky Lee (rhythm guitar, lead vocals). They closed 1966 with an appearance at the Teen-a-Rama contest at the Charlotte Coliseum. Their repertory consisted mostly of covers of then popular hits, including "I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone, " "Gloria, " "Day Tripper, " "Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly" etc. The group had a fairly lean sound, and a very punkish sound as well, whether they were covering Monkees songs, Doors tunes, or surf instrumentals. The twin rhythm guitars, coupled with Mitch Miller's fairly aggressive drumming, gave their covers a lot of punch and a pretty heavy attack, even when its obvious that their reach exceeds their grasp, as on "Day Tripper." Ricky Lee's singing betrays a lingering adenoidal quality that only enhances the young defiant teen image. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

*****

01 - (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone. 3:33
02 - Stickshift. 1:25
03 - Gloria. 3:01
04 - Day Tripper. 2:50
05 - Devil With a Blue Dress On. 3:14
06 - New Sound '67. 2:52
07 - Walk, Don't Run. 2:18
08 - I'm a Believer. 2:44
09 - Pipeline. 2:04
10 - Last Kiss. 2:36
11 - Wipeout. 2:33

had some aspects of their sound and playing to work out, as is obvious on their halting account of "Day Tripper," but for a band only half of whose members were in their teens, the Phantom Raiders are pretty impressive. They're much better on Mitch Ryders "Devil with a Blue Dress On" and even "Gloria." Mitch Miller's drumming is the best part of the band's attack, but most of this album is great fun. The title track is a guitar instrumental filled with Arabesques and pseudo-surf elements.

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