With a band name so obscure it’s like they don’t want to be found, a mocking album title and featuring a musical parody of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Mr. Phylzzz (pronounced “Mr Flies”) demonstrate on their latest album Cancel Culture Club (Amphetamine Reptile Records), that they aren’t taking anything too seriously.
Nevertheless the duo of Clinton Jacob (guitar/ vocals) and Danny Sein (drums) have taken one thing seriously — namely, putting together a delightfully catchy and chaotic twenty-five minutes of pop-infused noise rock.
Featuring Kevin Rutmanis (Cows, Tomahawk) on bass and Haze XXL (Halo of Flies) on more guitar, Cancel Culture Club is still ultimately a duo, with Clinton Jacob’s quivering, squealing vocals and assured guitar leads alongside Danny Sein’s stomping drums, very much setting out the Mr. Phylzzz mode of attack. The approach is somewhat comparable to The White Stripes with a very direct, and no nonsense garage rock inspired set of songs, all coated in thick, skuzzy layers of fuzzed out noisy guitars and overdriven vocal effects. King Buzzo’s appearance on the especially Melvins-reminiscent ‘Mr. Entertainer’ (delivering yet more guitar and a solo) could not be more apt.
From the opening aforementioned Beatles homage — “Mr. Phylzzz Cancel Culture Club” — the boys let it be known that they’re here for a good time, not for a long time. Indeed for anyone who enjoys a band with an ear for melody and an appreciation for poppy sixties hooks and big, catchy classic rock riffs of the seventies — awash in that familiar gritty, noisy ninetiess AmRep tone — this should all be great fun from the first to the last moment.
On the band’s bandcamp page they playfully state that the songs were written and performed in the guitarist / vocalist’s “stupid house. No good gear was used.” Well, that may be so, but the gear they used absolutely works for these songs.
There’s a visceral, churning attack to the riffs, and everything feels live and vital. Check for instance the driving, propulsive ‘Jesus With A Shaved Head’, that barrels along like the weird younger cousin of early Queens of the Stone Age. Alongside the dirty, chugging riffs, those sing-a-long vocal hooks just keep popping up. You might not make out clearly what Jacob is singing, but you’ll probably want to sing along anyway.
‘Karl And His New Big Suit’ features a fun, rubbery rhythm that very much evokes those merry pranksters Primus, who the duo have mentioned in interviews as a big influence. ‘You Have One Message’ and ‘In Memory Of A House Paint’ sound like they could be booming out of your neighbours garage, scaring your cat — the latter featuring a ripping guitar solo from Jacob.
Every track in fact, has some catchy riff or fun hook to stick in your mind and have you tapping your foot. All of these songs are familiar in style, but each track is distinct. If you like this noisy aesthetic, you really can’t go wrong. It’s crazed, it’s dirty, it’s silly, it’s fun, it’s Mr. Fylzzz.
8 / 10