10 August, 2013

Phenagen - Cannon Fodder

Phenagen - Cannon Fodder (song review) |Metastazis Records, Phenagen, 2012| 5/5

Established in 2010, Los Angeles based Phenagen is a project of Phil Glasses (vocals) mixing rock, metal and industrial.
"Cannon Fodder" ends the tracklist of the bands self-titled debut EP released in 2012. For the purpose of Phenagen, Phil completed an all star line-up. The song is supported by experienced guest musicians: Mike Clark (lead guitar, formerly in a famous crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies), Randy Bradbury of punk band Pennywise (bass) and Gary Ferguson (drums) who's better known from Geezer Butler's (GZR) & Gary Moore's bands.

This fruitful collaboration resulted in an excellent track for live performance. "Cannon Fodder" is both powerful and catchy, with groovy arrangements shared between guitar riffs, bass lines, vocals and drum beats. The repeating motifs and war-related lyrics fit perfectly into the linear structure of the song. Knowledgeable listeners will find the track a potential hit from the get-go.

Technically speaking, the composition is smooth and well developed, so it lacks any unexpected flaws. The rhythm is slow enough to make the sound heavy, solid and memorable. Nicely contrasting elements like a low tuned bass and alternatively high pitched and predatory sounding guitar riffs will certainly fill your ears with goodness. Both verses and choruses are unquestionably memorable, so it’s easy to imagine the live audience singing "Mother, I'm on the first line, Remember me forever, they'll turn off the light" along with the vocalist. Finally, Phil's voice is clearly recognizable with angry, dark and passionate tones, befitting hardcore as well as metal music.

Phil openly admits he draws influences from Killing Joke or Einstürzende Neubauten. Industrial samples carefully used in post-production give the song a mechanical, but not too experimental vibe. This sounds in line with the likes of Ministry, Skrew and other authentic industrial rock and industrial metal bands. Overdoing the 'industrial' layer would have killed the rock/metal spirit by limiting the range and impact of organic sounds brought forth by the guitars, bass and drums.

So far, Phenagen has been working on new material. Make sure you don’t miss their next release and live shows. Follow Phenagen on the social networks listed below to receive the newest updates.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, July 26th, 2013. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)



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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine