Phonotron –  We’ve Got Muscles (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

With so much music coming at me for consideration on a daily basis, it is funny which things make a band stand out, which aspects make them intriguing enough to be the one from the pack that I chose to explore further. It generally isn’t the music description, genres are meaningless and neither do I care that they once supported a band whose bassist used to go out with a guy who was once guitar tech for David Grohl. What grabs me is often something less predictable, an image or a quote  so when I see a track with the title of Chasing Rabbits in an Underground Crossing Being Photographed by Japanese Tourists then I’m on it faster than Katherine Ryan being told of the launch of a new comedy panel show.

Thankfully my natural curiosity for Chasing Rabbits... pays off and what unfolds is a collision of old jazz moves, proggy structures, mathy wanderings and post-rock meanderings. And its great. And so is the rest of this 6 track offering. It matches rock muscle with strange cinematic textures, jagged edged riffs with drifting beauty, intricate construction with a feeling of free form jamming. It often feels claustrophobic, intense and invasive perhaps reflecting modern urban life, a musical metaphor for the constant pressure of our world yet still reminding us that within such chaos there are also moments of warped beauty that only such an environment can create.

Post-Rock? Nu-Prog? Jazz-Metal? Post-genre? Who cares! Really its just a unique assemblage of fairly familiar sounds but ones which don’t really have much business hanging out together twisted together into new and beguiling sonic architecture. Isn’t that how things move on? Isn’t that how tomorrow is built?

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