Phantom Tails
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Phantom Tails

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Disco

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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

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"weekend what's what saturday, nov. 9"

City Pages’ Best New Band of 2011, Phantom Tails, is headlining a killer show at the KCK this Saturday night. Part rock, part dance, part twerky electro, this band is an amalgamation of various Twin Cities sounds. And we mean “sounds” very specifically; they err on the creative side when choosing samples. Ranging from Sumatran folk music to sonar whale recordings, these dudes expertly blend unique sonic moments for an altogether new result. And we suppose if your music is self-described as “deep space doom funk,” you probably have intended every sonic choice you’ve committed to record. Indianapolis outfit and self described swampy death rockers We Are Hex will also be playing, along with Minneapolis rock trio Kill to Kill. For all you art school kids out there wondering what’s in it for you, don’t worry, the VHS-savvy outfit Bollywood has you covered. So basically no matter what kind of weird you are, there is something at this show for you. -Lizzy Shramko - l'etoile magazine


"Best New Band - 2011"

In one of the most fertile 12-month periods of local music in recent memory, more than a few forerunners emerged for the all-too-vague category of Best New Band. But few bands have managed to pinpoint the sound of 2011 better than Phantom Tails, whose multi-genre approach stitches together far-reaching elements like 8-bit electro squeals, snarling Britpop wails, and gloomy prog-rock meanderings into a forward-thinking pop sound that's undeniably catchy. Think an even nerdier, glitchier version of the Gorillaz, or the Sex Pistols partying down at a goth rave with the Mad Hatter. In an era in which genre lines are being blurred faster than bands can delete their MySpace pages, Phantom Tails' charismatic mixed-bag music is a welcome sound indeed. - City Pages (Village Voice Media)


"Phantom Tails- Sounds of the Hunchback Whale"

Each year a list of numerous artists are selected for City Pages “Pick to Click” competition, a “people’s vote” contest set up by the Twin Cities tastemaker magazine in an attempt to determine who is the most popular new(ish) artist that the Twin Cities has to offer. Of this list, only three of these bands are usually any good, and they never win. One band is always too famous to even be on the list at all (this year’s Peter Wolf Crier), and they are usually awarded second. The first place band, according to legend, is cursed from that moment on and breaks up within a year, shortly after losing all of the hype they have worked so hard to build.



In the year of 2010, Phantom Tails scraped the bottom of this list. Awarded 9th place in a tie, it is only fitting that Phantom Tails would release one of the best albums that Minnesota has seen in quite some time. They come out strong from the very beginning, with thunderous 808 samples, brilliant keyboard lines courtesy of top-hatted Sergio Hernandez, fuzzy bass tones, and haunting lyrics, melodies, and guitar riffs from the figurehead of the band, Orion Treon. What is so great about Phantom Tails is that you’d be hard-pressed to draw comparisons to anyone. Their sound is very familiar, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it. At times, Treon’s howl turns into a nasally croon, similar to Of Montreal’s frontman Kevin Barnes, but Logan Kerkhov brings in heavy 808 samples that sound like something out of a vintage hip-hop record to throw you off. Just when the band is in danger of sounding anything at all like The Faint, the band’s secret weapon, Sergio, weaves all sorts of insanity with his ivories, as well as adding some extra percussion to further confuse the listener, but in a good way. This all comes together with catchy yet odd guitar riffs, and the most dance-tastic bass lines heard in Minneapolis since Dance Band first came into existence. Their thunderous live approach is difficult to capture in the studio, and so in response to this, I suggest that you play this album as loudly as you can without your neighbor calling the police.



Phantom Tails really gets things moving with the second and third tracks on their album, the obvious choices for singles, “All Good Things”, and “Real Savage”. After a fake-out intro with a guitar riff that truly sounds like the moaning of a humpback whale, Treon’s vocals enter with strength in lyrics, “Anticipation, no I can’t wait, obedience”, and the catchiest hook Minnesota has heard since The Replacements, “All good things go by, right before my eyes/Right before my/All good things”. The next track, “Real Savage”, opens with an irresistible keyboard hook, lets that riff settle, then hits you with an even catchier guitar hook, lets that settle, then throws another even catchier guitar hook on top. They keep it hooky, pumping, grooving, and intellectual for the rest of the album. Few bands from the Twin Cities could hope for a debut as fantastic as Phantom Tails.



Standout Tracks: “All Good Things”, “Real Savage” - Banana Static


"Phantom Tails- Sounds of the Hunchback Whale"

Each year a list of numerous artists are selected for City Pages “Pick to Click” competition, a “people’s vote” contest set up by the Twin Cities tastemaker magazine in an attempt to determine who is the most popular new(ish) artist that the Twin Cities has to offer. Of this list, only three of these bands are usually any good, and they never win. One band is always too famous to even be on the list at all (this year’s Peter Wolf Crier), and they are usually awarded second. The first place band, according to legend, is cursed from that moment on and breaks up within a year, shortly after losing all of the hype they have worked so hard to build.



In the year of 2010, Phantom Tails scraped the bottom of this list. Awarded 9th place in a tie, it is only fitting that Phantom Tails would release one of the best albums that Minnesota has seen in quite some time. They come out strong from the very beginning, with thunderous 808 samples, brilliant keyboard lines courtesy of top-hatted Sergio Hernandez, fuzzy bass tones, and haunting lyrics, melodies, and guitar riffs from the figurehead of the band, Orion Treon. What is so great about Phantom Tails is that you’d be hard-pressed to draw comparisons to anyone. Their sound is very familiar, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it. At times, Treon’s howl turns into a nasally croon, similar to Of Montreal’s frontman Kevin Barnes, but Logan Kerkhov brings in heavy 808 samples that sound like something out of a vintage hip-hop record to throw you off. Just when the band is in danger of sounding anything at all like The Faint, the band’s secret weapon, Sergio, weaves all sorts of insanity with his ivories, as well as adding some extra percussion to further confuse the listener, but in a good way. This all comes together with catchy yet odd guitar riffs, and the most dance-tastic bass lines heard in Minneapolis since Dance Band first came into existence. Their thunderous live approach is difficult to capture in the studio, and so in response to this, I suggest that you play this album as loudly as you can without your neighbor calling the police.



Phantom Tails really gets things moving with the second and third tracks on their album, the obvious choices for singles, “All Good Things”, and “Real Savage”. After a fake-out intro with a guitar riff that truly sounds like the moaning of a humpback whale, Treon’s vocals enter with strength in lyrics, “Anticipation, no I can’t wait, obedience”, and the catchiest hook Minnesota has heard since The Replacements, “All good things go by, right before my eyes/Right before my/All good things”. The next track, “Real Savage”, opens with an irresistible keyboard hook, lets that riff settle, then hits you with an even catchier guitar hook, lets that settle, then throws another even catchier guitar hook on top. They keep it hooky, pumping, grooving, and intellectual for the rest of the album. Few bands from the Twin Cities could hope for a debut as fantastic as Phantom Tails.



Standout Tracks: “All Good Things”, “Real Savage” - Banana Static


"BNBTV Spotlight: Phantom Tails, "All Good Things""

With this song, All Good Things, the band packs a punch of energy thanks to their tasty musical recipe: a little We Are Scientists, a hint of Of Montreal, plus an extra dose of electronic sugar. The result is a vibrant, artfully electrified track, rich with beats that I imagine would make for an insanely awesome and sweaty live show. - Best New Bands TV


"Best New Bands of 2010 @ First Ave"

"They’re tonally astute, and whether each sound made by their guitars and gadgets was carefully planned or just fell into place fatefully formed, the effect is the same; it makes me want to sneak backstage and nerd out over the placement of every knob on every piece of gear." - Hero Magazine


"Phantom Tails' frenetic rock"

Newcomers prepare to release their first CD
By Andrew Flanagan Wednesday, Jul 7 2010

A year ago Phantom Tails played their first show at the West Bank's Bedlam Theatre, one of the better of many second homes for the cities' odd artists, dancers, thespians, and musicians. To a thin and seated crowd (the hardest to impress, by law of mob rule), in the middle of a large and cluttered room, the band played a set that ended with a standing ovation. It was their inaugural applause. Making it through a first show should be hard enough, but coloring the people impressed is rare at best.No one can play his first-ever live show and do well, and that holds true here. The men of Phantom Tails were all in the excellent, long-gone Plastic Chord—whose single the Current's Mary Lucia admirably but belatedly blew up last year—touring and recording and weathering all the things you read about in the beginning chapters of rock biographies. Shortly after Plastic Chord's dissolution, former trumpeter-turned-percussive alchemist Logan Kerkhof, keyboardist Serge Hernandez, and singer/guitarist Orion Treon began practicing at their home in the row houses of Florence Court near the U of M.
"Logan basically said, 'Hey I got this drum machine,' and we said, 'Bring it over.' The three of us started jamming and within the first hour and a half we had like 12 songs, something like that. It was just one song after another after another after another," says Hernandez. An MPC and a breakup: recipe number 6,043 for a great band. Dave Dorman was an obvious choice for a bassist, living yards away and having been in two of their previous bands (not counting the Devo cover band that played a packed theater in Madison). "They started practicing in secret," Dorman says. "I'd hear them every once in a while but it was all clandestine. Then Orion was like, 'Wanna play bass?'"
"I told them, 'I'll make beats for your guys' songs,'" says Kerkhof. "It started becoming where we'd get together and jam and I'd have made new beats already—like with 'Light of the World,' I took all the samples, and then harvested from their songs and re-appropriated them into this different beat. Then they wrote a song on top of that."
"Regurgitations of regurgitations of regurgitations," says Dorman.
What that sizes up to is a dense type of crisp and get-down rock 'n' roll more pinned by Treon's delay and twanged guitar than by Kerkhof's bashing, skittering beats, which owe just enough to 30 years of hip hop. A jagged and flippant kind of melancholy runs through their whole debut, Sounds of the Hunchback Whale; some semi-sad futuristic badass (think duster and ray gun) on a tear would indubitably listen to this on his MePod. Hernandez's synthesizers wrap and come to the forefront, flourishing and vamping in equal turns with a carnival lean, either joking or deadly serious 100 percent of the time, and Dorman's toothed bass layers and jogs, anchoring an easy-to-follow schizophrenia that would be flat without the backbone. But this all is and isn't correct; in every song each of them bubbles to the fore and slips back, and none of the songs would be what's so good and fresh without all present and accounted for.
Sitting near the beach, if that's what you call being near the Mississippi, it struck me how well these guys fit together, which I guess should have been obvious after they told me they wrote a dozen songs in an hour and a half. But regardless, theirs is a weird, talented, exciting thing—a type of happenstance you don't want to wait years to hear.

- City Pages


"Ales, Whales and Phantom Tails"



The name Phantom Tails is either a byproduct of a chin stroking and grass smoking "brainstorming" session ("imagine if a dog's tail got cut off and he could still feel it, man?") or a slight misnomer. This psychedelic four-piece does not bring phantom rock 'n' roll. They bring the rock, the whole rock and nothing but the rock.
The band, all Minneapolitans, play the brand of deranged saloon psychedelia that — joined with Leisure Birds and Velvet Davenport and the suspiciously increasing sightings of women twirling inside hula hoops — constitutes "'60s revival" whispers in our area.
"We give a lot of attention to texture and dirtier, grittier things like that. We don't really hear other bands doing that," said bassist Dave Dorman
"We've been playing together for a long time so we've pretty much honed the sound that we wanted," added vocalist/guitarist Orion Treon.
Their newest punny-titled, hard-rocking LP "Sounds of the Hunchback Whale" is a far-from-linear slugfest. The 8-bit synth parts pepper over the dancehall electronic drum beats and the hardy basslines, producing the kind of sweaty rock 'n' roll that shakes basements and incites head dancing.
""It doesn't quite reach the point of getting too noisy," assured beat-maker Logan Kerkhos.
The group is innovative and self-sustained with their recording processes. They recorded and mixed the entire thing themselves and even broke into the Social Sciences building because it has "the ultimate stairwell for sound."
"A security guard only came up once and we we're like 'Oh it's for our sound arts project!'" synthist Serge Hernandez said.
The release show, or as they are calling it, "unleash show" takes place at the fittingly rugged Hexagon with the hot-as-charcoals hip-hop tandem Bight Club and fellow rockers Fort Wilson Riot and Reckless Ones. To round off the all-encompassing experience will be live painting collective Rogue Citizen.
But if that sounds like perfection, check yourself.
"There's always something that could go wrong with our set. Always," Kerkhos said, alluding only in part to the group's '83 Prophet 600 keyboard busting mid-song a couple weekends ago.
"That's rock 'n' roll," Kerkhos said.
- Minnesota Daily


"Phantom Tails CD Release"

By Maggie Ryan Sandford July 9, 2010
Phantom Tails have all the makings of a solid rock band. They've got the sound: Their new self-produced LP is a potpourri of garage, punk, hard rock, and '90s grunge, all played with a very hip collection of instruments, from analog synthesizers and fuzz bass to 808 samples and whale songs. They’ve got the look: Skinny, impeccably dressed frontman Orion Treon is backed by sly-looking bass player Dave Dorman, no-nonsense drummer/beat master Logan Kerkhof, and long-locked, top-hatted keyboardist Sergio Hernandez. They’ve even got a good name that conjures images of the long-gone tails we humans used to have at the ends of our coccyges. This album is like those tails. There’s a hint of something cool there, but we can’t quite feel it enough to wag it.??Take “The Oven Of Romance,” which is full of things to love: synthesized claps, a timeless hard-rock bassline, and an electric organ that takes us for a ride before Treon’s gritty voice comes in to make us feel sexy. Derivative isn’t quite the word, because the quartet is trying its damnedest to bring cool sounds together in a way that hasn’t exactly been done before. We may feel like we’re listening to Thriller one minute, The Kinks the next, but when’s the last time that happened all in one song? And with the comforting percussive clicks and D-flat moans of a humpback whale???It’s not bad—it’s like candy. But with all that great rock influence, we want to eat cake. Phantom Tails need to grind up that candy, throw it in a pan, mix in some serious angst, soul, pain, grit, anger, lust—something that comes from them and them alone—and bake at 1 million fucking degrees. When it’s done, take it to the dance floor, the mosh pit, wherever, and let’s shake it 'til our tails grow back.
- The Onion A/V Club


"Phantom Tails CD Release Show with Fort Wilson Riot and Reckless Ones at the Hexagon Bar"

July 9, 2010
By Natalie Gallagher
If you were to see the four guys of Phantom Tails anywhere but on stage, you probably wouldn’t expect them to be rock stars. They have more of a grunge-hipster vibe, the kind that might be comfortable living out of a van. In that respect, the guys from Phantom Tails look nothing like what they sound like, because what Phantom Tails sounds like is solid, bone-rattling, hair-tossing, fist-pumping, whole-body-jamming rock ‘n’ roll.
That was exactly the kind of sound that was delivered Friday night at the group’s CD “unleash” show at the Hexagon Bar. After being prepped by the furious sounds of Fort Wilson Riot and the rockabilly awesomeness of Reckless Ones, the crowd was buzzed and ready for the headlining Phantom Tails.
The four-piece band, with members formerly of Plastic Chord, has by now gained a reputation for their psychedelic riffs and overall intensity. A live show from them feels like listening to music inside a kaleidoscope: a singular platform that forces you to concentrate your senses on the experience alone, where suddenly you’re seeing sound and hearing color. (Okay, maybe multicolored strobe lights help.)
Whatever they did, the audience went for it. “These guys are fucking awesome!” yelled a dude to his friend between songs, before getting back to maniacal dancing.
The entire set last night was pulled straight out of their new album, Sounds of the Hunchback Whale, and while I’d like to avoid using the word “trippy” to describe the feel, I kind of feel like it’s appropriate and justified by the genre. The eight-song dynamo is heavy on all the right things, but particularly standout notes are the electric keyboard styling of Sergio Hernandez and lead singer Orion Treon’s metallic voice. There’s just enough noise, just enough guitar, and just enough surreal effects that you can take your pick listening to it at 2 a.m. and either keep dancing or take a moment to sit on the curb with a cigarette. The playlist reads simultaneously like a requiem for the original psychedelic rock of the 60’s (if you listen super close, you’ll pick up the trickle-down influence of The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane) and an anthem for the gritty underside of the current music scene.
The audience at the Hex definitely felt like pledging something, at least, as Phantom Tails had barely ended their set when the crowd started cheering, screaming, and demanding one more song.
“You guys want us to play one more song?” Treon asked, smiling and tuning his guitar. “I mean, it really doesn’t take much coaxing…”
Rock stars? Maybe not conventional ones, but Phantom Tails definitely delivers. - howwastheshow.com


"Phantom Tails CD Release Show with Fort Wilson Riot and Reckless Ones at the Hexagon Bar"

July 9, 2010
By Natalie Gallagher
If you were to see the four guys of Phantom Tails anywhere but on stage, you probably wouldn’t expect them to be rock stars. They have more of a grunge-hipster vibe, the kind that might be comfortable living out of a van. In that respect, the guys from Phantom Tails look nothing like what they sound like, because what Phantom Tails sounds like is solid, bone-rattling, hair-tossing, fist-pumping, whole-body-jamming rock ‘n’ roll.
That was exactly the kind of sound that was delivered Friday night at the group’s CD “unleash” show at the Hexagon Bar. After being prepped by the furious sounds of Fort Wilson Riot and the rockabilly awesomeness of Reckless Ones, the crowd was buzzed and ready for the headlining Phantom Tails.
The four-piece band, with members formerly of Plastic Chord, has by now gained a reputation for their psychedelic riffs and overall intensity. A live show from them feels like listening to music inside a kaleidoscope: a singular platform that forces you to concentrate your senses on the experience alone, where suddenly you’re seeing sound and hearing color. (Okay, maybe multicolored strobe lights help.)
Whatever they did, the audience went for it. “These guys are fucking awesome!” yelled a dude to his friend between songs, before getting back to maniacal dancing.
The entire set last night was pulled straight out of their new album, Sounds of the Hunchback Whale, and while I’d like to avoid using the word “trippy” to describe the feel, I kind of feel like it’s appropriate and justified by the genre. The eight-song dynamo is heavy on all the right things, but particularly standout notes are the electric keyboard styling of Sergio Hernandez and lead singer Orion Treon’s metallic voice. There’s just enough noise, just enough guitar, and just enough surreal effects that you can take your pick listening to it at 2 a.m. and either keep dancing or take a moment to sit on the curb with a cigarette. The playlist reads simultaneously like a requiem for the original psychedelic rock of the 60’s (if you listen super close, you’ll pick up the trickle-down influence of The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane) and an anthem for the gritty underside of the current music scene.
The audience at the Hex definitely felt like pledging something, at least, as Phantom Tails had barely ended their set when the crowd started cheering, screaming, and demanding one more song.
“You guys want us to play one more song?” Treon asked, smiling and tuning his guitar. “I mean, it really doesn’t take much coaxing…”
Rock stars? Maybe not conventional ones, but Phantom Tails definitely delivers. - howwastheshow.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Minneapolis-based Phantom Tails formed in 2009. All four members had been in previous bands together, playing an eclectic mix of styles, before embarking on a more electronic, gritty, and concise musical path.

Two members hail from the gulf-coast of Texas, the other two from the ruggedlands of Wisconsin. After writing over a dozen songs in a couple of weeks in the attic of a 1880's brownstone apartment, they recorded a demo and started playing shows around Minneapolis.

A year later, they self-released "Sounds of the Hunchback Whale," the debut full-length on CD and Digital. The followup EP, "The Armageddon Experience," was self-released Dec. 2011 on Vinyl, CD and Digital.