The Phantom Tollbooth

Artist: Fabulous
Label: Solomon Records
Length: 4 tracks/

One of the selection of guitar-pop bands whose heads stayed afloat in the sea of similar acts at this year's Greenbelt festival, Fabulous's second CD EP continues to impress. There are only four tracks on offer here, but they show plenty of spark.

There is a fair bit of Radiohead's influence in the arpeggio’ed guitars and spacious arrangements, with vocals which are sometimes breathed gently over but often rise to a louder, larger sound. This is a mixed bunch, but the band does seem to have defined a sound for themselves. As well as Radiohead, U2, Joni Mitchell, and Lou Reed are cited as musical influences. The former pair are noticeable after a careful listen, but the latter two are slightly more disguised. In some ways the band reminds me of the
under-appreciated and recently departed Dissident Prophet.

Fabulous seem to be the darlings of the Scottish rock press at the moment and are also deservedly attracting label interest. They could certainly do with a larger platform on which to continue to develop. And as to the name, they insist that it's not meant to be arrogant but does manage to garner a fair bit of attention.

James Stewart  (12/05/98)