by Robert Bell
WHALE FIRE, PHANTOM LIMB
9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.
Little Rock's Whale Fire is all ear candy of the sweetest variety: clean, clear guitar lines, catchy melodies and falsetto "ooh-oohs" all over the place, anchored by bedrock bass guitar. On the band's EP from last year, the lead track "Sirens" includes all these characteristics; it sounds like a mission statement.
Phantom Limb is a duo that got started in a fairly inauspicious way. A couple of friends — Justin Kinkel-Schuster of St. Louis (also of buzzed-about act Theodore) and Andrew Bryant of Oxford, Miss. — got to playing songs and recording them and then before they knew what happened, they had an album. The group's self-titled debut (on Misra Records) filters Dinosaur Jr.-style guitar rock through The Band's country-boy soul and raggedy backwoods sensibility. Vocal harmonies recall those of the critically vaunted Fleet Foxes, so if you dig that sound, Phantom Limb is recommended. The band plays again on Saturday at Maxine's, with Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass and William Blackart.