Band: Phil Wolfendale
Area: Melbourne, Australia (Formerly from Adelaide)
Date of release: 13/04/2018
Genre: Alternative Emo Indie-Rock
Reviewer: Michael Dixon
Record Label: Independent
Produced, Mixed, Mastered: Declan White
For Fans Of: Kisschasy, Foley, Chasing Ghosts.
Next Gig: DROPKICK EP LAUNCH. Friday May 18th, 2018 at Bar Open, Fitzroy.
“So meet me at the stairs at Fed Square. We'll spike our coffee and we'll laugh at what they say. You make everything okay. And then you ask me if I'm scared of dying as you squeeze my hand and pass the spliff my way I say something I wouldn't normally say.” -Flop
"Dropkick" is the debut EP from Melbourne-based, Adelaide-born singer-songwriter Phil Wolfendale. I’ve been supporting Phil for a number of years now through many different musical projects including Who Invited The Wolf?, Acrasia and Empires Fall, genre hopping from post hardcore to melodic alternative rock. His journey has been a turbulent one to say the least, overcoming several issues in his personal life which have in turn impacted on his career as a musician. But thankfully he hasn’t let these hurdles destroy him.
The songs on this release, most of which was written back in 2015, documents Phil’s personal struggles in a bold, honest and no bullshit kind of way…and he doesn’t hold back. That’s the thing that I respect the most about Phil both as a person and as a musician. "Dropkick" marks a significant turning point as a testament for how important being persistent and not losing hope is. Phil makes no apologies for the kind of man that he is, owning up to his mistakes and admitting that he’s far from perfect.
The EP kicks off with recent single 'Flop', with a strong and propelling indie-rock edge, a catchy melody and a soaring clean vocal delivery. It’s certainly a massive shift compared to his older material and these songs are easily his most personal to date. 'Bellyacher' is slower, more stripped back and vulnerable in content. 'Lemon' is the EP’s first single and is probably the most radio-friendly track here. Musically, it sounds very Kisschasy-esque as it delves into alternative emo pop territory though lyrically Phil puts his own original stamp on it.
'Hawker' tells the story of a young girl Phil met whilst doing door to door sales in Brunswick and the personal connection he made with her. It’s tracks like this that really shows how far Phil has come as a songwriter, even inserting quotes into the lyrics. 'Shoegazer' is another tale of love and Phil’s adventures on the street. Musically, it’s a lot softer in tone which allows the focus to shift onto Phil’s vocals. 'Floater' is another intensely vulnerable track which talks about coping techniques in dealing with fear and mental illness.
Closing track 'Dropkick' brings back the hard indie-rock riffs and builds upon many of the personal issues Phil has had over the last few years including drug addiction, toxic relationships and inner demons. It’s a slow burning track at nearly 7 minutes long and never seems to outstay its welcome due to how deep and engaging the lyrical material is. Overall, this is a great debut which shows a very different side to Phil Wolfendale than most people have seen before. It’s an extremely brave release. My hat goes off to you Phil.
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST) 4.5/5
Personal Enjoyment: 8.5/10