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Lean, mean rockin' machine
Erica Anderson | Minneapolis, MN | 01/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I admit I was a bit metal fan back in the early '90s, some thrash and some glam metal. In between the thrash and glam metal were five women who were known as Phantom Blue. Their first album was one of the best speed metal albums I had ever heard. Phantom Blue made the women in Vixen look like Destiny's Child (although I dug Vixen a lot). When Phantom Blue got a major record label deal with Geffen Records, I have to admit I was originally disappointed by the band's more polished sound on "Built to Perform". Over time the music slowly grew on me like a fungus on a dead log. Despite their looks, the women in Phantom Blue proved that they had the chops. Gigi Hangach has a voice that would make a lot of women in music today wish that they had her vocal chords.
"Built to Perform" kicks off with the excellent "Nothing Good". It really set the tone of the album for the listener. "Time to Ruin" really solidifies the album for me with its searing guitar licks provided by Michelle Meldrum and Karen Kreutzer. You knew right then and there what to expect from Gigi, Michelle, Kim, Linda, and Karen. One of my favorite songs is the ballad "My Misery" with its hooky chorus. I also love the infectious chorus to "Little Man" which sounds amazing at top volume. All the songs on this album is great. It is shame that this album came out at a time when Nirvana and the whole 'grunge' movement had exploded. Max Norman does a great job of producing and mixing the album. I especially like the way he allowed the guitars come to the forefront. "Built to Perform" was and is still a great metal album. Ten years later it still holds up well...or at least to me."
The ''Phantoms '' prove their point
Erica Anderson | 05/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was around this band during rehersals , pre-production , and the creative processes that were the early inspiration for what we know now as '' Built to Perform '' After many internal problems within' the band structure (most notably the departure of band co-founder\guitarist \songwriter , Nicole Couch ) Phantom Blue came out with a scorcher major label debut . The main problem with this CD is it came out too late . With grundge being the flavor of the month , ''Built to Perform '' was lost among the Nirvana's and Soundgarden's of the day . If this CD would have been out earlier , I feel Phantom Blue would have made a bigger impact on the music world . The guitar work by co-founder , Michelle Meldrum , is phenominal with a guest appearnace from then Megadeth guitarist , Marty Friedman .Drummer Linda McDonald is rock solid and one of the best drummers you will ever hear , bar none . Vocalist , Gigi Hangjak , has vocal power beyond beleif . She has come along way from the first time I heard her practice with the band in their practice studio in Vernon, California back in 1988. I would have liked to have seen Phantom Blue get more promotion and land a major U.S. tour opening for someone like Van Halen or Bon Jovi . This would have made more people aware of the bands existance . It's just a damned shame that the timing was off . Phantom Blue is still together to a certain degree with drummer Linda McDonald being the only original member left ( YOU GO GIRL !! )
I would like to see this band re-group with the original members and pick up where '' Built to Perform'' left off ."