"Plastique Surgery," the 2nd spastic binge by Phoenix 3 piece experimental / hardcore / punk / experimental / indie / hipster / metal project (identity crisis notwithstanding) displays a marked evolution from the band's first EP, "The Seed."
(That's our way of saying we now hate our first album, and this one kicks ass.)
Perhaps most noteworthy difference in Plastique Surgery is probably the vocal stylings of front man / drummer Aaron Byous. The hi-pitched scream feels more intense while still raw, adding variation in timbre, pitch and resonance. His falsetto is more in tune, and Ryan Butler of Arcane Digital Studios finds a nice blend in the mix.
Byous says, "I fucking cringe every time hear vox on the first album. I don't care if you're not supposed to say that shit. it sounds like Jim Henson's Muppets on fucking PCP... I mean I guess that's cool and all, but this album is more like H. R. Giger on Acid. Which is obviously cooler."
Jason Butche's guitars feel more connected to the rest of the soundscape, even while stroking a path not dictated by the rhythm section. This second round was even tighter than the first EP where his professional studio virginity was lost. (Input sex joke here.)
Johnson's bass lines expand their catchy, unique nature and his weird-ass lines still feel like they're dancing with, in, out, around and through Byous' drum kit... which sounds like it got a bit more practice this time around. Put everything together, and you've got something that shows a band you want to keep your eye on. They're still finding and developing their sound, and this latest installment leaves you wanting more. Oh, and if you get a chance to see them live, don't pass it up! Even with a drummer for a front man, you can't stop watching, and wondering what's next from this train wreck called Naudhiz.
released September 26, 2014
All songs written and performed by Aaron Byous, Jason Levi Butche and Robert Johnson. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ryan Butler at Arcane Digital Studios.