Coming up with a title for any type of art, call it music or a film, it’s pretty tricky. At least you are in a hurry or you simply don’t give a damn about anything, the most likely the record or movie will have your name or the most random thing in the world. There are others that may be misleading, making you thing the project in particular will deal with one thing, when in the end it goes for something else.
Struggle With Me by Phantom Funk captures the carefree, angsty spirit of Punk rock and blend it with other rhythms that adds in new layers. As the title of the album may suggest, the album takes on a positive direction the burden put on by the society and encourages to move on and live life the fullest way possible.
“Mediphorical” exemplifies most of the aforementioned, with its blend of Punk bordering SKA and vocals that reminded me to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O and Grimes. “Every Where You Go” heads into a whole new direction as the band invites local NY rapper Cloud Master to spit some rhymes in between verses going for a pretty minimalistic blend of hip hop and rock that hints us at bands like Gorillaz. The rest of the album dives into different realms of music, always adding something and fresh and new to table.
The only negative thing that may come to mind would have to be the production value. While the album goes into different places and they definitely don’t lack the ambition – there’s a rawness to it that at first may play in an advantage, but towards the end and as the band chases for new highs, the gimmick ends up playing against them.
Criteria - 80%
In the end, Struggle With Me by Phantom Funk is a nice introduction to a band that may go into places. The record has its flaws, but thanks to the old school underground NY underground they are coming with, hoping to bring back and their ambitions – there’s a little bright spot at the end of the tunnel for them.