The Agnostic Phibes Rhythm & Blood Conspiracy “Campfire Tales”
I knew Canada had some long, dark cold winters but till now had not realised the full implications. Seriously, the ‘music’ isn’t too sad at all as the boys repeatedly crank it up.
From the off the music is fired by foreboding passion as swirling guitars and hard driven percussion is performed by Forbidden Dimension (Garage-punk, macabre plied, gut-churning tales) founder, Jackson Phibes (Tom Bagley) and three boys, Bob Keelaghan (acoustic, slide guitar, electric harmonica lead vocals), Vlad Sobolewski (bass, vocals) and Jason Woolley (drums, percussion) from The Agnostic Mountain Choir meet out in the deep dark woods to share their passion for making music. If asked how this album was made I would simply say ‘they turned off the lights and let the pot simmer, boil and spit’.
'Campfire Tales' is an album of music akin to acoustic blues taken by the devil, shaken up a mite and electrified performed to the backdrop of a thunderstorm. Such is the twisted style of playing, singing and manner the songs tumble and stagger forth. But it isn’t your frenetic out of control fare, either because they play some hugely imaginative music; usually when you start to thinking I am not too sure where this is going. Among the best of their smart and occasionally addictive work you have the title cut “Campfire Tales”, “Respected” is something of a barnburner and is followed on the album by “Butcher, Maker, Undertaker” that speaks of buzzards and vultures circle overhead and there is mention of ‘whores of Babylon’ as the music is unrelenting and vocals, if a little hurried just what fans of the idiom ordered. An observation I could likewise hand to the slower, but no less intense “Wolfman Franz”. While “Who Fears The Devil” could just as easily have come from the pen and played by David Olney. Good it is too!
“Windigo Song” is also of note as it is powered by some amazing swirling slide electric guitar. One of those songs set to leave aspiring players transfixed! Phibes for his part, other than shout out his share of vocals he plays electric, lead guitar, keyboards, jaw harp plus adds backing vocals.