This week’s “Music” story is an interview with Paul Cooksey, lead singer-guitarist-lyricist for the Fort Worth-Denton synth rock quintet Phantom Caste. Last year the group received a big heap of praise for its debut EP Hands to the Light – our own Caroline Collier wrote: “Phantom Caste, you’re hearing it here first, might just be the second coming of Black Tie Dynasty: propulsive rhythms and glorious melodies, all polished to a sheen so fine you can see your reflection in it.” The group is currently writing its new album, skedded for release by late spring.
Cooksey describes three legendary bands as “touchstones” for Phantom Caste: Television, Depeche Mode, and Joy Division. He thinks people tend to overemphasize the doomy aspect of these postpunk outfits. With that in mind, here’s a boundlessly peppy live version of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” shot in Budapest in 2006. The title track from Television’s exquisite 1977 album Marquee Moon is shimmy-worthy – in a codeine-addled kinda way — thanks to Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd’s signature overlapping guitars. And as for Joy Division – what can you say when the lead singer offed himself? ”She’s Lost Control” from the band’s 1979 debut full-length Unknown Pleasures has a certain bleak boogie charm, despite Ian Curtis’s tragic end.