Tuesday 3 October 2023

Phe - Nothing Else Is Real (EP Review)

Release Date: October 07th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Nothing Else Is Real - Tracklisting

Mirror The Ghost


The Age Of The Misunderstood

Broken Thoughts

We Are


Ruud - Drums/Vocals

Marcel - Bass

Paul - Guitar


Nothing Else Is Real is the new EP from Psych/Blues/Stoner Rockers Phe who blend Hard Rock sounds with Desert Rock mysticism with a full-on KYUSS based sound. Phe offers five tracks for a blistering release that runs for thirty minutes in length. There's a sublime Fuzz Rock attitude which does allow Phe to play a heavier and riffier style of Stoner Rock with that extra layer of seedy AMPLIFIER heaviness which you can feel instantly within the excellent opening track of Mirror The Ghost. A song that moves along at a highly confident and aggressive fast-paced where the music retains a sense of urgency whilst being thoroughly modern at the same time. The vocals have a distinct Classic Hard Rock and Blues Rock energy to them which allows the EP to be more grounded in reality with the gravelled Desert Rock/Stoner tones contained throughout the whole EP.

Second track Saviour is where Phe adds a level of Prog Rock expression with the track running past the eight minutes mark. The song is played at a slow-to-mid pace where Phe brings in a more Psychedelic feeling to this track and when the trippy Desert/Stoner Rock jams appear then the band offer a more free-flowing style of Guitar based wizardry. The rhythm section offers a heavier alternative style of Post-Stoner grooves with a twinge of sludgy heaviness and when everything combines then Phe becomes a more dangerous entity especially when the distorted and multiple areas of reverb and gloomy feedback. Perhaps the standout track on the EP which showcases what master storytellers Phe actually are.

Third track The Age Of The Misunderstood is another epic track running over twelve minutes in length. This has a different style to Saviour with certain familiarities. The sound is understated with a sultry Blues Rock groove slowly working upto distorted and trippy areas of Fuzz, Psych Rock and Stoner Metal. The vocals have more of a 1980's Hard Rock and Heavy Metal presence whilst still retaining that standout Desert/Stoner Rock flow. The song is deliberately slow which allows Phe to build up different areas of confident aggression which maybe considered DOOM in places. The second half of the track has a more cerebral SHAMANIC delivery with Phe playing strands of Post-Rock with waves of SONIC manipulation which shapes upto to be one of the most intriguing aspects of the whole EP.

The final two tracks of Broken Thoughts and We Are once again sees Phe explore the Blues Rock aspect of their music with trippy extended jams that overlap into different themes of the Desert/Stoner Rock scene. The instrumental work is constantly melodic and filled with catchy aggressive melodies that harks back to the classic heyday of the Californian Desert based scene. Phe injects the atmosphere with fine amounts of DOOM and GLOOM textures which shines mostly through the wickedly intense lyrics and outstanding vocals that continues this EP to it's mighty and riff-fuelled conclusion.

Nothing Else Is Real is superbly produced which helps Phe to reach their full creative potential with a haunting and gloomy style of full on Psychedelic Stoner Rock/Metal that's bound to whip up a mighty FRENZY within the Stoner Rock underground scene that should allow Phe to be more well known on a grander scale.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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