Back in December, a wild seven-piece group called the Phantastics released its debut album with uncharacteristically little fanfare. Amid the holiday buzz and chatter, Closer (on Lawrence's Silly Goose Records) slipped quietly under the local radar.
But the Phantastics isn't the kind of band to go ignored for long. Since forming back in 2010, it has steadily built a reputation as one of the area's most accomplished party acts — party being not just a favored Phantastics gig site but also the best explanation of what its music sounds like. The band blends genres like a toddler attacking a fresh Play-Doh set. The six tracks on Closer incorporate jazz, gospel, hip-hop, neo soul, and even a few jam-band flourishes. It's an intense collision of sounds that probably shouldn't work together but somehow does.