Nightlife - BARSUK
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Zachary Sniderman on November 4, 2011
Touring isn’t easy, and that world-weariness comes through loud and gray on Nightlife, a mini-LP from shoegazey glitch rockers Phantogram. The duo’s 2010 debut, Eyelid Movies, was a burst of fresh sadness mixing sinister fuzz with a serious dance punch. Nightlife is very much a companion piece, created during Phantogram’s tour and rapid ascent and written in tour buses, planes and drunken nightclubs. The extended EP hits all the points that made Phantogram so exciting…but with less oomph. The album is dark without the familiar bass kick and the duo recycles many of the same tricks from Eyelid Movies. “Don’t Move” is a reggae-version of “As Far As I Can See,” “A Dark Tunnel” is a plainer version of “Turn It Off,” etc. Sarah Barthel’s vocals still carry the day, but the songs get lost when she hands the reins to guitarist/wailer Josh Carter. Perhaps the fun will last longer with the next proper LP, but even still, Nightlife is strangely satisfying even if it’s a cocktail we’ve ordered too many times to remember.