Phantastic Ferniture, “Phantastic Ferniture”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Old friends Julia Jacklin, Elizabeth Hughes, and Ryan K. Brennan walk into a bar and decide to start a band. And so began Phantastic Ferniture, a group formed late one night in a pinball and pizza shop. The band’s modus operandi is obvious given their origin story, as well as their shared appreciation for plant-based puns: they don’t take themselves too seriously. On their self-titled debut, a collection of unfussy, straightforward, mid-tempo rockers that revel in their uniformity, the band plays to their strengths and rarely veers outside of their apparent comfort zone.
Incorporating the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) into their songwriting, Jacklin and company rely solely on instincts. The choice to drown out the intricacies of Jacklin’s work as a solo artist with festival-ready riffs and a lighthearted lyricism here is an interesting one, but it’s hit or miss. Tracks like the amusingly titled “Fuckin ‘n’ Rollin” and “Uncomfortable Teenager” are as rowdy and raucous as they are shamelessly enjoyable. “Take It Off” and “I Need It” mix things up a little bit—the former is a breath of fresh air, but the latter struggles to find its footing.
At their best, Phantastic Ferniture sound like a group of twenty-somethings who stumbled out of the bar to fearlessly play music together. But after listening to thirty-six minutes of the same brand of rock, tweaked ever so slightly from track to track, the charm starts to fade.