Friday, March 8, 2013

G&P Review: Phylum


Phylum live by the hoary adage that if it ain't broke, keep whacking it with a hammer until it shatters.
Divisions is the complete package: five songs of troglodytic brutality that snarl along like a chunkier Insect Warfare or something closer to Backslider. The whole EP is poised on the knife of gloriously shitty production that's just clear enough to keep everything listenable but still rough enough around the edges to leave papercuts in its wake.
This Alabama trio has packed every second of their eight minute EP with dynamite and spend five songs flicking cigarette butts at the fuse just waiting for the ka-boom. It's a great explosion even when you know it's coming. The buzzing guitar noise threatens to swallow the drums whole, but occasionally the percussion will rise out of the murk like a great white breaching to smash everything in sight.
Probably the most interesting aspect of Divisions is the way Phylum have built a strong experience through smart sequencing. The slow motion apocalypse of "Fuse Blower" chains directly into the building momentum of "Prophet Margin." Additionally, the pit of hell vocals mutate over the EP, phasing into thedowngoing-style caterwauling. Everything gets nuclear vaporized at the end with a full minute of white noise eruption that capstones "Assimilate." They're all small moments, but taken together they give Divisions a real sense of purpose and direction. And it all just begs you to push play once the eight minute hatefest has reached its end. Highly recommended.

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