If you’re familiar with our “It Came From Bandcamp” series (and I pray that you are), you know that the setup is generally as follows: I scour Bandcamp tags for Central PA musicians and highlight the ones I like. This week, we’re changing the format a little, but I think it’s more than worthy.
This morning, the Fly editorial staff each received a package delivered from Hong Kong, China, addressed to each of us personally.
To our extreme enjoyment, somehow, some way, a band called Fantastic Day sent us packages containing not only a fancy press release and their album “Kaleidoscope,” but also a piece of foil and a pair of carboard kaleidescope glasses. If you’re curious about the foil, here is a picture. It says “Dear Kevin, ENTER THE KALEIDOSCOPE, Enjoy! : )”
As for the glasses, here’s a close up on them in action, as well as a bonus pic of intrepid Fly staffer Mike A. modeling them.
Of course, no matter how many Hong Kong Dollars (over 100!) it cost to send us these packages, it wouldn’t really count for anything if the music wasn’t good. However, it’s very good, and since the band has a Bandcamp page, I’m making a special exception to the “Strictly Central PA” parameters that I set initially. Can’t break the rules if you made the rules!
Fantastic Day are a rock band of that jangle-y persuasion, with lots of strumming chords and high energy. Despite its title, opening track “The End of the United States of America” is pure shining pop, perfect for driving down the highway. That is, until you make out the lyrics about the evil sides everyone has within them and the general idea of the end of civilization. But dig that groovy bassline!
The album title becomes increasingly apt as you make your way down the track listing. From flirtations with funk (“Summer of Love”) to an entire backwards song (“Listen to what the World Says”), there really is something for everyone. One of the highlights of the latter half of the album is the incredibly Smiths-like “Quality Street,” which Johnny Marr would be proud of if he ever gets to hear it. Another bit of hero-worship comes in the form of album-closer “Ode to Madchester,” which evokes Primal Scream both in name and substance.
Fantastic Day’s mission statement seems clear: distract listeners with sunny instrumentation while singing about the ills of society in Hong Kong and the world over. I personally can’t wait to hear more.
Key track(s): “The End of the United States of America,” “Quality Street,” “Summer of Love