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The Phantom Family Halo / Save the Whales

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The Phantom Family Halo fits oblongly into the neo-psychedelia camp frequented by bands like Dead Meadow, Entrance, Six Organs of Admittance and Bright Black Morning Light. Member Michael McMahan hooked up with Slint for the group's reunion tour, and other members have been involved with The For Carnation and Starkiller. The Louisville, KY, band appears to have ingested lots of Syd Barrett and 13th Floor Elevators, crafting loose and ragged jams with dirty guitars and creative percussion.Save the Whales is the pre-season rookie-of-the-year candidate on the Range Life Records roster (also home to White Flight and Fourth of July). The primarily instrumental outfit takes inspiration from the likes of Tortoise and The Album Leaf, crafting slow-building gems with interweaving melodies and chilled-out beats. The group recently posted a sharp track called "Othello" on its MySpace and plans to unveil its debut EP later this year.

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