BY MICHAEL TOLAND
On its fifth album Fandango, Wellington, NZ combo the Phoenix Foundation doesn’t so much eschew the eclecticism of previous efforts as employ greater continuity. Instead of shifting from jangly folk rockers to atmospheric psychedelia and back, the band instead moves everything under the umbrella of the latter while adding the melodic elements of the former. Catchy tunes come wrapped in acid-drenched gauze, leading to concise daydreams like “The Captain” and “Morning Riff” as well as relative epic dreamscapes a la “Supernatural” and the awesome “Corale.”
The crossover becomes more obvious on the concise but trippy “Walls,” the long but sugary sweet “Sideways Glance” and the haunting mid-length brooder “Inside Me Dead.” The Foundation wraps with “Friendly Society,” an 18-minute journey into the outer reaches of the inner mind that reflects the group’s soundtrack work as much as it does its pop tuneage. Lush, melodic and often downright gorgeous, Fandango moves the Phoenix Foundation to the next plane of reality.
DOWNLOAD: “Corale,” “Inside Me Dead,” “Sideways Glance”