Show Review: Isaac Rother & the Phantoms – White Owl/Blackwater

Isaac Rother & the Phantoms are one of the best and most entertaining bands you’re missing out on. Luckily for you they tour frequently. I became a fan about a year ago and I’ve seen them play four times, perhaps most notably opening for Guitar Wolf at the Hawthorne Theater during the summer. I think Isaac Rother & the Phantoms can best be described as an early 60s rock/campy horror band. Their Facebook page describes their influences as Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, Bo Diddley, and Scooby Doo, but if you want to know what they sound like just find a picture of Isaac Rother. He is always dressed in a black suit and cape, a necklace of bones around his neck, and a large afro. He plays lead guitar and lead vocals, which he sings with a curled-lip snarl.

And the Phantoms? Well, their bass player looks like Eddie Munster, their drummer is referred to as the Yeti and on backup vocals is the always lovely Tatianna. Tatianna adds some killer vocals and a throwback shimmy that will knock you back a few decades, and she knows how to rock a cape to boot.

Isaac Rother & the Phantoms play some terrific covers. Their most recent tour comes on the heels of their most recent release, a reinvention of “… One More Time,” by Britney Spears which tells you that behind the black capes the band approaches its craft with a sense of humor. Their cover of Little Richard’s “Heeby Jeebies” is not to be missed. The song “Dark Eyes” is definitely a surfer rock throwback. Other tracks that stand out are “The Phantom,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Somebody Put a Hex on Me,” “My Cryin’ Eyes,” and “Possession” all of which showcase the spooky rock n’ roll sound of the band.

All of that aside, the reason you should go see Isaac Rother & the Phantoms is because they’re incredible entertainers. Listen to them online, buy their merch and support the band because we need more fun rock n’ rollers like this making the rounds. But most of all, go see them next time they’re in town. I love me some doom metal, punk rock, new wave, prog, shoegazer, etc. but sometimes you just want to rock n’ roll and cut a rug. Let Isaac Rother & the Phantoms work their voodoo on you.