Phobia | ‘Remnants of Filth’
‘FILTHYFUCKINGPUNKS.’ ‘FREEDOMISN’TFREE.’ Frontman Shane McLachlan is wearing a Varukers t shirt in the press shot. Another one looks like Colin from GBH.
I’m gonna love this album.
Phobia has been in existence for over twenty years, so they know what to deliver and how to deliver it. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun with the formula every now and then. In the words of McLachlan, this is the first Phobia record “…that I haven’t played an instrument on…”
Not exactly stuff that sends journalists and fans into spasms of delight/horror about how their favorite band has progressed/sold out, but what it has done is bring a freshness and vitality to the record.
I’ve played this to a few friends who don’t mind a bit of grind here and there. All of them thought Phobia were a band just starting off, due to the exorbitant power on offer here.
A few commentators have pointed out that the best grindcore straddles a fine line between proficient playing and the sensation that you’re falling off a cliff. Too much proficiency makes for a sterile, boring listen. Too much chaos sounds like a load of socially inept losers with instruments not knowing what they’re supposed to be playing (not a bad thing in itself, but not suited for recording).
With ‘Remnants of Filth’ Phobia have got the balance perfect.
‘Assertion to Demean’ begins proceedings. The menace and power of the mid paced riffing ties knots in your stomach, until about halfway though the 90 second track when it’s time to begin, but the full-on assault you’ve been gearing up for doesn’t come along.
So the tension builds again, and then we’re into ‘Contradiction’, which is the musical equivalent of driving into a brick wall. Damaging.
‘Submission Hold’ adds some touches of death metal, while ‘Infraction of Pride’ has a bassline so crusty, it makes me think I’ve fleas in my pubes.
With the whole thing lasting twenty minutes, it’s essential listening for Metal Ireland readers. I don’t think I’ve felt this way about a grindcore album since ‘Primitive’ by The Endless Blockade.
The short running length and nature of the genre means that this won’t be the longest review in the world. After all, how many times can you write about blastbeats in one review?
This one certainly makes my ‘albums of the year’ shortlist.
4.2 / 5 Christopher Owens ::: 13/06/12