The Phantom Family Halo is an experimental rock band from Louisville,KY. The Legend Of Black Six (2006) was the band’s first official release even though it was written and recorded primarily by Dominic Cipolla. Currently, The Phantom Family Halo is a four-piece band based in Brooklyn,NY. In 2011 the band was signed by Brooklyn based record label Knitting Factory Records and announced their plan to release two albums in 2012: a dark and a light album (source: KF). In February, the band released When I Fall Out and in November they released Francis Jewel Don’t Be Afraid of the Jungle.
In their latest album the band has utilized a fair amount of grunge and post punk manners of playing as well as many elements of post–rock. These characteristics are especially evident in “Don’t Be Afraid of the Jungle” which is the longest song on the album and probably the most abstract one. This song certainly falls into posts-rock category more than any other song on Francis Jewel Don’t Be Afraid of the Jungle. It got some intense drumming, changing melodies, heavy riffs and drones.
Some songs such as “Strawberry Blues” have more of a 60s feel to them, with casual guitars, simpler melodies and laid-back vocals. ”This Moment in Heaven” and “A Man With a Twitch in his Cheek” are gloomy, with echoing vocals, softer riffs, slower and quieter drumming and many feedbacks and delays.
Francis Jewel Don’t Be Afraid of the Jungle is dark and heavy but not in the way that overwhelms you. This ablum’s heaviness comes from its complexity and its intriguing and expansive sound. When I listen to Francis Jewel Don’t Be Afraid of the Jungle, I keep visualizing a ray of light traveling through the labyrinth of darkness, looking for an infinite escape.
Francis Jewel Don’t Be Afraid of the Jungle is great album that shows The Phantom Family Halo’s many musical talents and their ability to take multiple directions and yet create a conceptual and diverse album that flows perfectly.
It takes several listening sessions to really appreciate Francis Jewel Don’t Be Afraid of the Jungle for what it is, a great psychedelic journey into The Phantom Family Halo’s twisted world.