If originality was high on your lists of wants then Italian rock band Phono Emergency Tool probably would not register too highly but if fun, contagiousness, and straight forward enterprise is the desire then their new album Get The Pet might just go down a treat. Comprised of twelve varied and easily accessible romps fusing, in varying degrees, alternative and indie rock with power pop vivacity, the album provides a pleasing and adventurous friendship; one with a definite already established familiarity but thoroughly enjoyable all the same.
Phono Emergency Tool began with guitarist/vocalist Andrea Sgarzi who provided a song for a compilation on Fridge Records in 2003 called Soniche Avventure VIII. From there the project took its first live steps as a full band in its home town of Bologna, Andrea joined by bassist Sandro Sgarzi and drummer Marco Lama. The trio fused together perfectly from that moment, going on to release two albums, a self-titled in 2005 and Get Lost four years later, as well as playing a wealth of shows across Italy and into the UK. Earlier this year saw the release of third album Get The Pet on Red Cat Records, an encounter which without any immensely striking dramas more often than not hits the sweet spot in pleasure and creative mischief.
The instantly urgent Floating so Fast launches at ears first, guitars releasing a great noise rock scrub of riffs before rhythms punch in their presence and the bass brings a throaty coaxing. Vocally too the song is an appealing proposition as it strolls with energy and a pop punk swagger into the imagination. The core hook of the song through those still slightly caustic guitar rubs has a slight Buzzcocks lilt to their bait whilst in full flow the song leans on a definite eighties power pop breath which only helps the song become a heavily catchy entrance to the release.
The following Five in Four matches the success of the first with another mix of naggingly infectious hooks and enticing rhythms, this time within a more blues dressed pop rock premise. Like all addictive songs it has irrepressible bait which repeats and repeats with incessant potency to capture imagination and emotions. Again there is little which is unsurprising but much which leaves you wanting another healthy helping of its revelry, the same which can be said about On the Air even if it does not quite match those early heights set. Fusing a Nirvana like voice to its presence with a Weezer flavoured sound, the track makes for another appetising encounter although vocally it sometimes misses the mark.
Blow Moulding Machine pushes the album back to that previously higher step with its dark basslines and choppy riffs, the song a reserved but engaging melody enriched stomp, before the outstanding pair of I Don’t Belong and especially Hevo take things to a new level. The first of the two shimmers and prowls with a masterful pop rock temptation soaked in what is best described as a Blur meets The Zanti Misfitz. It is an impossibly riveting slice of indie rock which almost alone makes Phono Emergency Tool a band to keep an eye on but alongside its impressive successor is a done deal for attention and appetite. The second of the pair pierces ears with a persistent jab of sonic delight which the roving dark sound of the bass soon aligns itself too. The start of the song has a definite XTC feel about its tempting before opening its inventive arms with an additional punk rock adventure and creative wantonness which has more than a touch of The Barracudas to it. An energetic quickstep of flirtatious hooks and boisterous rhythms, the track takes top honours on the album whilst reinforcing the increasingly enticing presence of the band.
The intrigue coated charm of Crimentology unveils another twist in the variety of the album, it’s plainer but no less appealing rock exploits tantalising thoughts though its chorus is slightly less inspiring compared to the excellent design around the verses, whilst Better Stay Home produces a quirky slightly off kilter piece of pop infested ingenuity. It is song which maybe should not work but the band turn it into a deliciously alluring and salaciously bewitching tempting hard to tear away from.
It has to be said that from here on in the album slips away in potency and power though the next up sixties blues dressed rocker Don’t Stop Making Money is riotously infectious leaving a smile on lips and in the imagination. Neither the more predictable Farther nor the underwhelming A Lower Life manage to raise anywhere near the reactions most of the previous songs inspired, their undeniably accomplished offerings lacking the spark to make a real impact whilst the closing Heyday meanders without really going anywhere. They cannot prevent Get The Pet ultimately being wholly entertaining and joyful company which shows a definite potential within Phono Emergency Tool still waiting to be discovered.
Get The Pet is available via Red Cat Records now!
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