The PHANTOM TONES: Just Fine CD. Ultra rare Finish (self released, ltd. edition CD). Finnish power pop rockers


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Title: Just Fine
Genre: Alternative
© 1998, Grandma Records

Track Listing:
1. Do What You Do
2. Free The World
3. (everything’s just)Fine
4. Make a Wish


Ever wondered what happened to the Songs? You know the ones that just wouldn’t let you go after listening to a record or seeing a good show? The ones that actually felt like being written from the heart? No worries. As far as Finnish power pop rockers The Phantom Tones

The Phantom Tones flirts with guitar rock and punk with a good sense of pop sensibility. The band has enough songwriting skills for three your-average-popsters to share, and after four years of work the whole is beginning to look pretty seamless. The Phantoms have their target locked: they’re here to play rock’n’roll with big guitars and catchy hooks for you to bite. So here’s the declaration: Pop with buzzing guitars is what you really need.



Take some catchy vocal lines, loads of pop sensibility and some punk influences, loud guitars and lots of rock’n roll. Add it all together, shake rapidly and use the mixture to build up a brilliant chorus you can’t help humming to on your way home… Ladies and Gentlemen, you’ve just met The Phantom Tones! The Phantom Tones saw the light of day in Turku, Finland in the summer of 1996. To get things really rolling the Phantom Tones decided to start working on their debut release as soon as possible. During the recording sessions of their first CD the band was also asked to participate in Finlands most popular indie fanzine Sues compilation CD Vol.2. The songs that appear on the Sue CD are early but quality demo versions of the two tracks that were later recorded for the first official Phantom Tones cd Just Fine. The debut four-track MCD was released through the bands own Grandma Records label in August ’97. The cds filled with energetic, ironic, sometimes serious and extremely catchy powerpop rock music. Just Fine, and above all the brilliant opening track Do What You Do had lots of air play in both local and nationwide radio channels and also some Internet power play in Worldwide-Radio net station. Surprisingly enough, Grandma Records has received Just fine mail orders from USA and the CD has even been played by an Mexican radio station. After the debut release the Phantoms have concentrated on writing new material and performing live. After two studio demo tapes in 1998 (Barker Tapes and You Didn’t Know Me) The Phantom Tones begun to work on the forthcoming follow-up of Just Fine. In the autumn of 1998 the original bass player Mika Välitalo decided to leave the group and was replaced by Jarno Sakki. A couple of months later The Phantom Tones recorded four songs to be released as MCD “Phantastico” on the legendary Finnish indie
guitar rock label Hiljaiset Levyt (to contact record label see main page!).Phantastico was officially released on may 3rd 1999. a full-lenght album will be recorded in spring 2000.

KARJALAINEN, June ’99:The Phantom Tones: Phantastico (Hiljaiset levyt)
The Phantom Tones from Turku is the latest signing of Hiljaiset Levyt label. The band sounds like a well-behaved version of Lowdown Shakin’ Chills. “Phantastico” is all about bangin’ catchy melodies with guitars that jingle and rattle. Its quite obvious that the Phantom Tones’ frontman Pasi Kaukonen is a talented songwriter, but as a singer he could use some improvement, pronunciationwise. It can be heard that English is not his primary language, but if someone should get irritated by this or not, is a totally different story. The Phantom Tones’ cover version of made-famous-by-Blondie hit Hanging on the Telephone is a dance floor filler all right. (S.Kononen)

MUUSIKKO, June/July ’99:The Phantom Tones: Phantastico (Hiljaiset Levyt)
More magnificent guitar-pop-rock from the Phantom Tones, hailing from Turku, Finland. Their sounds a bit heavier and a bit more melancholic than for example Cartoon Trees. This four-track EP is a good and strong release, especially the opening track Tell Me really runs you over! The final song on this CD is a cover version of the Blondie classic Hanging on the Telephone, which has become quite up-to-date since Blondies back together and touring. By the way, The Phantom
Tones are on their way to represent Finland in International Pop Overthrow festival (No kidding? -band), Los Angeles. (J. Raittinen)

SUE 3/99:Phantom Tones: Phantastico (Hiljaiset Levyt)
Phantom tones’ first release for an actual record company makes clear that the band plays melodic punk-pop-rock. This is guitar-oriented rock music suitable for radio stations. Above all the Phantoms will be remembered by their melodies; the three originals on this CD have really catchy choruses. While writing this review I’m still humming the songs by myself. On this record the song to get stuck in your head is “You Didn’t Know Me”. There’s also a cover version of Blondies Hanging on the Telephone. “Phantastico” is absolutely not all about being mellow, but I’d prefer a bit more edgy rawness to it.

SOUNDI 11/98A two-track tape from the ‘Tones. First one of the tunes is a dark pop song. The song itself is a good one, but according to my personal experience the live version I heard and saw was better than the one on the tape. The demo version lacks the anger and the power that the live version brought up. There is loads of pop sensibility in this song (You Didn’t Know Me) anyway. A Black Cat is from the powerpop end of the PT. The second song doesn’t quite approach the wild
and reckless mood of their previous demo Tell Me but the bands professional and relaxed touch to their music makes the song move with such smooth easiness that it is hard to comprehend. The tape sure is worth the demo of the month award – the previous one was a bit better, but then again the previous tape was the best of the year! The Phantom Tones is still a brilliant band. (J. Junttila)

RUMBA 18/98:Mr. Pasi Kaukonen wrote this fabulous phantom tune, which was later turned into a fine piece of pop at Barker Studio, Turku/Finland. There definitely is some air play potential on this tape. Well, not actually in this demo form but with better production the radio stations’ answers should be yes and yeah indeed. “Catchy pop sensibility” is something that this group claims they represent, and it must be said that they manage to do it very well. You Didn’t Know Me is
such a great performance that one could easily predict quick farewells to the demo jungle from The Phantom Tones’ behalf. The Phantom Tones is also participating on the new Finnish Hit Challenge. The song mentioned earlier sounds very suitable for that kind of concept and I think the Phantoms could do very well in this kind of competition. Then again it is possible that english-singing bands will be practically neglected. (J. Sundholm)

SOUNDI 3/98:”Nobody said its going to be easy, nobody said its going to be fair…” What is wrong with this world? How come the Phantom Tones are not signed yet? A year ago I gave them the “Demo of the Month” prize and this time they deserve it even more clearly. They sent me a tape with two great songs again. Tell Me is a great REAL guitar rock song with traditional and familiar sounding power pop elements. It rocks & rolls like hell and swings like a ride on a rollercoaster! I listened it twice and already on the second hearing I found myself singing the chorus with the band: “Hey tell me where do we go…” The second song is slower and easier and puts the tape in a good balance. The Last Words is also a great tune, the bongo drum/percussion intro takes into the song and there we go again… There was a time when I wasn’t sure about the accent in the lead vocals, but now the slight problem is gone. The Tones hit the bulls eye once again! (J. Junttila)

ELYSIUM #6: I had gotten the impression that these guys are from the Lemonator/Posies school of guitarpop, but the music that meets me when I put this in the player is pretty punky, ’77-influenced melodic rock – within the Finnish framework, I think they have much more in common with, say, Hundred Million Martians than Lemonator or the likes. The best comparison I could come up with, though, is actually another Turku group (and now defunct?) Peppermint Lunch, who also sounded like a mix of early Mega City Four and ’77 melodic punk a’la Stiff Little Fingers. The Tones have strong, melodic moves, some singalong quality, even, and a lot of stern guitars. All is cool. There’s just that they should touch it all up a little bit, at all fronts, be it the vocals (the lead singer Mr. Kaukonen can sing well, but his tone of voice is still pretty unpolished and inexperienced, also his pronunciation needs improvement), the lyrics (I can’t see why they printed them in the first place for there is nothing to rave about in them in here), the songwriting (I’d prefer more rhythmic groove) on the production (I know they did this hastily and it has its effects). However, their guitarist Ari told me that the band had been together for three months(!) when Just fine was recorded – obvious reason for this lasers unripeness. As the cd was released some good while ago, they must have developed a lot already. Cool to see Finland getting more and more bands with poppy
intentions and strong vocal- and melody orientation. all these new bands and especially their bold, daring self-financed record publishing biz deserve everybodys support. (M. Lappalainen)

SOUNDI 9/97:The Phantom Tones hail from Kaarina, Finland and I bet theres more than one Hoodoo Gurus record to be found in their record collections. Do What You Do, which is the opening track on their Just Fine cd, represents this band at its best: I haven’t heard a chorus this catchy for ages! All in all, Just Fine is a fine debut: the songs are good and well arranged and produced. Because there always has to be something to complain about, I must say that the cover of this cd is quite horrible. (J. Tamminen)

RUMBA 16/97:Power pop from Kaarina, Southern Finland. These guys sound like they mean what they’re saying but I can’t help thinking they could use some sense of irony in their lyrics. The band plays very well anyway. In case their average age is under 18, they’re OK. (Reviewer unknown)

CITY 9/97: Powerpoppers The Phantom Tones from Kaarina have released their first cd. The opening song of the 4-song record has been airplayed a lot nationwide. Although theres a song called Free the World on the cd the guys in the band consider themselves rather ironic than naive… Anyway, the Phantom Tones plays beautiful, melodic and even sensual power pop: sometimes slower, sometimes faster. Just Fine is available in the record stores down town. (Reviewer unknown)

SUE 3/96: This is the first studio tape from a band called the Phantom Tones and it sounds like a work of true perfectionists. As far as their songs, sound and talents are concerned they should already be working on their second full-lenght album or so. Do What You Do and Free the World are great pop songs played by a band with skills. The first one moves fast and the latter hangs somewhere in between of sensitivity and ambition. I bet heres a single about to be released! (J. Helminen)

SOUNDI 1-2/97: The Phantom Tones are known to write great powerpoppunk songs. This time they’re moving to a little bit more tender but still clearly guitar-oriented direction, and I must say they succeed in it very well. The second tune on this two-song tape, Free the World, is very enjoyable sing-along song Although they sound a bit softer than before, The Phantom Tones is guaranteed to be worth checking out. They’re strong, rough and straight-forward guitar group
and talented in what they’re doing. Their playing sounds easy and relaxed and even the backing vocals are in tune. the “demo of the Month” -prize must be handed to
the Phantom Tones once again. (J. Junttila)

SOUNDI 9/96: Although this demo is recorded with several different line-ups, it seems like the Phantom Tones are finally about to get their act together. The lead singer-guitarist Pasi Kaukonen is extremely gifted in writing catchy power pop and punk vocal lines. Especially Devil Is Calling is an absolutely brilliant song. The tape sounds good, although a little more edge on the lead vocals would do no harm. The Phantom Tones as a whole sounds pleasantly BIG, and that is why their
tape has to be voted as the “Demo of the Month.” (J. Junttila)

SOUNDI 4/96: Heres a band that believes in melodies and that is always a good thing to do. The first track Devil Is Calling on their two song tape works very well, but the second song You Know What Its Like remains a bit pale… I know its meant to be melancholic, but then again it could roll smoother. The band plays very professionally.

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