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The Phoenix Down Rises Up With Their New Song “Merry-Go-Round” [Review]

The Phoenix Down - In The Wake

When listening to a band like The Phoenix Down, I have to be careful not to allow what I consider a destitute scene to overshadow my true feelings in regards to the musical composition. Unfortunately, that is not always an easy task, as I have witnessed enough midsummer music festivals, in my day, to have the dancing images of hacky sack hippies permanently branded into my optic nerve – now, that’s psychedelic.

However, in all seriousness, most of my hang-ups with the so-called jam band movement were recently set aside upon hearing the latest track from The Phoenix Down entitled “Merry-Go-Round” – off the band’s forth-coming record ‘In the Wake.’

My initial feeling was that the song suffers from a lack of distinguishable qualities from others in the genre, but all of that changes as soon as guitarist and front man Stephen Horning starts to sing. Interestingly, it is Horning’s efforts, both in his approach to the guitar and vocal style, that really gives “Merry-Go-Round” the overwhelming sound of summer – inexplicably reverberating the influences of Steve Miller, Sade, The Allman Brothers, along with various contemporary sounds that one may have heard coming from a hotel clock radio during the late seventies.

Listen to “Merry-Go-Round,” here.

To be perfectly honest, I do not give two flying squirts about the clichéd philosophy, “music and love just might save us,” that The Phoenix Down chooses to use as an shtick to sell their jam brand to the masses. In my opinion, these guys have managed to produce a sound that could be widely appreciated and accepted, on many levels, without continuing to further bore out the pigeonhole of the love, love, love genre. Simply put: this music greatly surpasses its BS tie-dye personae.

‘In the Wake,’ the new album from The Phoenix Down, is due to be released March 2013.

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