Richard Barone and the Bongos were a staple of the New York scene in the early 80’s, and one of the best guitar pop bands ever. So good they are listed in John Borack’s top power pop albums list twice! So imagine finding the legendary “lost” Bongos album. After Beat Hotel, the band split apart being pulled away by solo projects and although Phantom Train was recorded in 1986 it was never released. Until Barone revisited the album and decided to share it with the world now.
Opening with “My Wildest Dreams” it certainly brings back memories of a simpler time with its catchy chorus and new wave synths. The 80’s echoing production sound is a little distracting, but the Bongos raw talent overcomes this. A nice cover of Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman,” leads us to the angular guitar riffs of “Diamond Guitar” and “Run To The Wild.” The tight melody of “River To River” is another gem with bouncy beats, saturated in reverb. Fans of Barone’s solo work will recognize the echoing “Tangled In Your Web.” Another good track is “Town of One” and although this may not win over new fans to The Bongos, it is definitely welcomed by the faithful.