Band: The Phosphorous Bombs
Release: Blank Slates
Date of release: 26/06/2018
Genre: Hardcore punk
Reviewer: Brock Ford
Record Label: Independent, I imagine
For Fans Of: Pour Habit, Smoke or Fire, Strung Out, Strike Anywhere, Miles Away
Next Gig: July 20-Blank Slates EP Launch w/ Ess-Em, Operation Ibis, Apprehension Avenue & Billy Puntton.
Phosphorous is a word that instils bad memories in myself; Year 11 Chemistry- boring discussions about molarity, molality, electron configurations, and of course, obscure, highly reactive chemical elements.
While the most recent release by Sydney punk rockers, The Phosphorous Bombs, is indeed reactive, it is anything but boring.
I first listened to this EP, titled "Blank Slates", while washing the dishes, and I can say with absolute honesty, if you are looking for something to listen to while washing the dishes, this is it. This is some fast, energetic, plate-smashing punk rock.
"Blank Slates" clocks in at around the nine and a half minute mark. But I had only half completed the dishes in that time, so I had to put it on for another listen. 'A Bruise' kicks off the EP, and from outset you know you are in for some speed. A few drum hits, and bam, riff. It doesn’t let up.
'A Bruise' sets the scene for "Blank Slates" as grungy screams fold into high-neck driven licks, before an almost melodic post-final-chorus draws you in further. And then it stops.
But I didn’t have long to breath, as the title track kicked off where the opener finished. Speedy riffs and hard-hit drums lead into scream-a-long gang vocals. If Johnny Rotten picked up a slot on an episode of Game of Thrones as a voice actor for Drogon, that would be how the chorus to "Blank Slates" sounds. Raw, passionate, and just a touch cockney.
All tracks follow in the same fashion, and I feel The Phosphorous Bombs are at their best when the Aussie accent comes through. The scream/Aussie singing/scream combo is a relatively different sound, with most hardcore punk bands tending to keep to a screaming regime throughout.
This culminates in final track 'Overdue', which I think is the highlight from this release, complete with "oooh ooh’s" and vocals which can be screamed by any Aussie down the pub, the likes of which I haven’t heard since Jewish punkers, Yidcore.
All in all "Blank Slates" is exactly what it sets out to be – fast, loud, raw punk rock. If you love screaming, combined with rapid riffs, you’ll love this EP. At times, I felt the mastering didn’t do the collective sound total justice. Lead riffs in 'Drugpig', while obviously present for this reason, were too pronounced and drowned out other aspects of the song. I see what they were attempting, but I feel they would have worked nicely sitting back in behind other instruments, as a backing sound to vocals and drums.
The drumming, while tight, seemed a little on the safe side, and could have been a little more experimental, as it was on 'Overdue', which really helped the overall mix.
At the end of the day, that is about the only criticism I can make. The Phosphorous Bombs are a band that knows exactly what they are, and they aren’t trying to fool anyway. It’s quick. It’s hard. It’s punk fucking rock. And I can assure you my dishes have never been cleaner. With the exception of the 3 or 4 mugs which I smashed when the riffs to each and every one of these songs kicked in.
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST): 3.5/5
Personal Enjoyment: 6.5/10