Recorded in the winter of 1986 as the band was falling apart, Phantom Train is like a "lost" fourth album from The Bongos—a group that was among the earliest on the Hoboken underground rock scene, which also brought the world The Feelies and, later, Yo La Tengo. Though less frenetic than The Feelies, The Bongos made ‘60s-influenced power pop with a touch of now-dated ‘80s new wave production flourishes (though head Bongo Richard Barone remixed this album in 2013). Here, The Bongos' cover of Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” sounds like an early Let’s Active record—fittingly, since Mitch Easter of Let’s Active had collaborated with two key Bongos—Barone and James Mastro—on their Nuts and Bolts project. All these groups shared a common love for traditional guitar pop that, R.E.M. aside, had trouble catching on commercially at the time. Several tunes here—“I Belong to Me,” “Tangled in Your Web”—found new life as chamber pop tunes on Barone’s Cool Blue Halo solo album, while “River to River” and “Roman Circus” appeared on Barone’s Primal Dream album in arrangements closer in tone to these recordings.