Phantom Blue – Built to Perform (1993)

PhantomBlue_BuiltPerform4 out of 5 Stars!

I’ve always had a special fondness for Phantom Blue. This all-girl group popped onto the scene barely a split second after Vixen made its splash, and promptly got lost in the rock ‘n’ roll ether, completely ignored by the masses and the MTV Headbanger’s Ball crowd without an ounce of the same recognition.

What set Phantom Blue apart for me was the lack of polish displayed on its self-titled debut (unlike the high production values displayed on Vixen’s initial release). This wasn’t a bad thing, mind you, since Phantom Blue played a harder-edged Rock/Metal than their counterparts, more of an Americanized version of Britain’s Girlschool or Rock Goddess, and kicked major ass.

The band continued to improve, with Built to Perform (the second album) being equally as strong as the debut regarding energy and songwriting, but with the guitars even brighter (more scorching) in the mix. And on pounding tracks such as “Loved Ya to Pieces,” “Little Man,” “Nothing Good,” “Anti Love Crunch,” “Little Evil,” “Better Off Dead,” and “Lied To Me,” the band sounded more than a tad hungrier (angrier perhaps since the debut album didn’t get the same recognition as Vixen did from the mighty “Powers That Be” at MTV’s corporate offices?) than ever before. With a killer cover version of Thin Lizzy’s “Bad Reputation” tossed in for the fun of it, Phantom Blue seemed poised to take on stardom, which alas, sadly never occurred…a damned shame!



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