Phantom Helmsmen was one of the best-loved live bands to come out of the Chicago area. They captured their sound on their debut album lessons worth learning, and tracks on several popular compilation albums. The single for "Don't" from the disc received widespread play throughout the Midwest. The video for "Said And Done" was played on virtually every music video program save for MTV.
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Critical acclaim abounded:
"...an energy and dynamism that recalls post-punk outfits such as the Buzzcocks and All." -Chicago Tribune
"...(the songs) roar to life as though the band had bet the farm on each one, Steve Gerlach's guitar squealing its way to the finish line, his vocals half bluster, half prarie seer." -CMJ
"...when things calm down there's as much grit as sweetness in the delivery." -Option
"They gave us what we had been waiting for: pure, unadulterated, confident, hard rock guitar hypnotism. Steve Gerlach rattled his Stratocaster like a man breaking out of a cage filled with flames." -New City
Despite their growing success the band broke up while demand for their shows and discs was increasing. Lead guitarist Steve Gerlach left for The Amarillo Kings and later The Bad Examples. Drummer John Carpender hooked up with Michael McDermott. In early '95 this core of the Helmsmen re-united to form MysteryDriver Occasionally, Phantom Helmsmen still play the rare gig together around Chicago. A word to the wise is sufficient... MysteryDriver's acclaimed album on Whitehouse Records, Getting Away With Murder, and their incendiary live shows have developed a growing fanbase and created the demand for the Phantom Helmsmen's debut. Originally released in 1992 on Hogleg Records (001), the album has now been re-released on Whitehouse.
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