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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Phyllis - s/t

Name: Phyllis
Album: s/t
Year: 2003
Style: Indie Pop-Rock
Similar Bands: Replacements, Dinosaur Jr, Superdrag, GBV, Weezer, Rentals, Evan Dando, Fig Dish
One Word Review: Lazy-Sqealing-Fuzzed-Slacker-rock.
Based Out Of: Indianapolis, Indiana
Label: self-released
Phyllis - Cover & Back
 Phyllis - Liner Notes & CD
Phyllis (2003)
  1. Making You Wait 3:39
  2. Pure And Simple 3:56
  3. Against the Lie 2:27
  4. In Matters 4:18
  5. Hesitate 4:08
  6. No Alternative 3:02
  7. Disappointing You 4:21
  8. Dave Song 3:07
  9. Face the Change 5:20
  10. Map of My Hometown 7:20
Album Rating (1-10): 8.0

Members & Other Bands:
Brett Cantrell - Vox, Guitar (PFAU, Lowercase m, The Aurelians, Las Vegas Body Snatchers, June Panic, Brian Deer & the Achievers, )
Dave Magee - Bass (lovemeknots
Dusty Privette - Drums
Randy Seals - Drums Vox, Production, Engineering (Tommy Flake, Peachfuzz)
Scott Westervelt - Guitars, Vox, Lap Steel
Mark Rocher - Engineering
Drew Seals - Engineering
Joe Welch - Vox (Jose Spinning Cortes)

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band, and with the album's minimal info and generic artwork, I can only guess that it will be some sort of indie pop. The music copywrite name is Are You Going to Eat That, so I guess they have a silly sense of humor. Perhaps that will spill over into the music.

Album Review: “Making You Wait” begins with a buzzing fade in and some anthemic fuzzed out electric guitar wailing.  These elements congeal into a chugging Weezer-Rentals style fuzzy power pop at 45 seconds. The chorus has a nice dual layered melody, and the squealing guitars are akin to Dinosaur Jr. This feels like a tribute to the style of music that was the center of popularity 10 years before.
“Pure And Simple” has a simple two note guitar tempo setting hook, and a power surge transitions the song into a slacker ballad. The vocals have the same tone as Evan Dando, but lack his melodic expertise. The chorus builds up like an emo anthem. But when the band chooses to exert energy, the blast that comes out is quite powerful, and I imagine emits a Memorex audio wind gust toward the fans.
“Against the Lie” layers the vocals in a set of two, but the lead is again, Dando-ish without the range. They offer a second of rest and spaced out, wobbling guitar before picking up the driving, chugging guitars, adding an element of Alt-Country with the slide guitar.
“In Matters” has a slow, lethargic guitar intro that is masked by a fuzzed out curtain of guitars, only to fall away when the slacker roadside hitch hiker vocals begin. The song draws out for a jam session on the same fuzzy chords for a bit too long, and ends with ringing feedback.
“Hesitate” has weary vocals song over another typical alt-rock energy support system. One that is not overly energetic, and complexly melodic. It kinds of wanders on, not grasping hold of any hook foothold.

“No Alternative” blasts off with a ringing guitar chord and spastic drumming. The vocals are different here, they are higher and more rocking, a little like the Weakerthans. The power behind the band could put this song on the popular album with the songs same name. The lyrical melody sounds a little like the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly” at one part. The song ends with a fade out of feedback and fuzz.
“Disappointing You” builds steadily into a guitar whining song. The lyrics are drawn out, and take their time dripping out. The song sounds a little alt-country in the progression of the lead guitar. The building of the verse reminds me of this one Track Star song (No Big Deal or Push It).
“Dave Song” starts with a nice punk-like bass line full of nervous energy and it is followed up with guitars that match the melody and rushed pace. The vocals are distorted slightly, made to sound coarse and grimy. The song is all drive, but lacks a catchy hook in the chorus to offer a little divergence. The build-up in this case is to lead to the instrumental meltdown of dueling lead guitar wails. If the vocals were more intense and not so deadpan, this could have been a Nirvana parody song.
“Face the Change” slows it down with an introspective rhythm guitar hook. A squealy lead guitar interweaves with the basic hook, and the relaxed vocals pull the song upward and onward into the sky. This song has a 70’s AOR, smooth rock vibe to it in the verse, until the fuzzy, buzzing guitars take over in the chorus. The end of the song ramps up the guitar and vocals, but like any song, it eventually just fades out.
“Map of My Hometown” begins with a nice driving drum beat and a bouncy bass line. Seeing that the song is 7+ minutes long, however, I don’t expect the song to stay so tight. The vocals begin and they gently float along kinda psychedelic-like over the musically precise backbone. The guitars ring out and echo over top the steady tempo. The vocals in the chorus are layered, and keep up the spacey guitar image.

Stand Out Track: Making You Wait


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