Saturday, 15 December 2012

Album review: THE PHEROMOANS - Does This Guy Stack Up?

Highlights: The Final Sugar Rush, A Freak’s Xmas, Power Watch

Does This Guy Stack Up? (it wouldn’t be easy to come up with a much hipper title than that) is certainly a bizarre listen. At worst (much of side two) – just bizarre. At best (most of side one) – it’s bizarre and brilliant. This music is hard to categorize, but I guess you could call it psychedelic pop of lo-fi, somewhat whimsical variety. Think The Band Of Holy Joy without the folk element.

Having said that, The Pheromoans manage to serve up something quite unique here. “Power Watch”, one of the album’s biggest highlights, is based on the lush organ sound and an odd, charming, addictive melody – a combination that makes the whole thing so intriguing. “A Freak’s Xmas” should be on your list of songs whose mood and sound are perfectly captured by the title. Upbeat, groovy freakout with some truly inventive instrumental arrangement. In fact, ‘inventive’ might be the right word for this album, even if by side two they get carried away with all that oddness and forget to bring any interesting melodic substance to such exciting, excited, but failed experiments as the badly erratic “Deport Little John” and the rather uneventful “Deck Waltz”.

Still, like I say, even when it fails – it fails with a bang. Mainly because on Does This Guy Stack Up? The Pheromoans manage to create some truly colourful, catchy noise. Patchy but engaging, it’s pretty much what you see on that freakish but friendly cover.


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