Pheromoans New Album: The Octoverdict
It wasn't easy getting the old Octomitts on this bad boy but we got there in the end. After a month-long campaign of voicemail threats and internet smear, Alter Records head honcho Luc Yong finally relented to a meet-up and exchange of goods. I could tell he was as nervous as all hell when he set the location: aspirational Clapton's Yoga Centre & Supermache Palm 2. Perhaps he was merely seeking the comforting glow of seeded loaves and imported ales, but if he thought a trip to this gentrification hub would scare me off, he was sorely mistaken.
"You're a clown, Yong," I snarled, seeing him cowered in the doorway with his bodyguard-come-style guru Harry Webb, the pair of them spooning from the same pot of Greek youghurt.
Yong affected a smile, sweat guttering the pinstripes of his Armani knock off.
"No harm done, Mad Headed One," the pencil-pushing pleb squeaked. "I said I'd come through for you, didn't I?"
"Huh," I grunted, snatching the box of freshly packed vinyl from his underarm. "And my Momma told me Santa was the real deal but I ain't hanging stockings anytime but wash day."
Yong's droog tittered like a Disney squirrel.
"Let us take a photo, Octy?" Webb implored impishly.
"Photograph this," I snapped, lifting the middle digit to the sky and turning tail.
"They say he sees beyond the veil of our so called reality," I heard Yong explain, his voice a gushing whisper. "I can readily believe it."
"Breath deep, Yong," I called as I strode away, hitching the hem of my duffle coat and delivering a Bronx cheer.
So here I was, the first damn Pheromoan to feel the fat wax between my fingers. Skipping into my boho palace I put some java on the hob and let the needle drop. Techies will be pleased to know that I road tested our latest batch of hits on Bang & Olufson's Diamond Shard record player, fitted with a Sirius 12 laser stylus. Amplification came by way of a 1940s Dynatron valve amp. The speakers I used were from Tesco and apparently are 'blu tooth ready'.
What first struck me when listening to the tracks is that I was instantly reminded of the time of their recording. I was astounded! What the technobods at Alter HQ have done is taken the recordings that we sent them and pressed them onto a record. Since I was present for the album's recording, I instantly remembered the act of recording them, the sounds emanating from my sound system being the direct result of that process. This is known as the 'memory effect', and I think it was very smart of Alter to opt for a release format that takes full advantage of this curious neurological feature.
It's also worth noting that this album has been released in 'stereo', a sound reproduction system which results in almost double the volume of sound per decimal as traditional methods. This was particularly clear on the louder parts of the record which, when turned up, I would describe as 'considerably loud' as opposed to merely 'quite loud'.
Bass response is strong on this record, particularly at the lower end. Treble, conversely, seems to have been reserved solely for the higher end of the sound spectrum, rendering the more treble-oriented sound-waves a tad 'toppy' but this is clearly a creative decision on the part of Pheromoans head honcho The Plague. The mid-waves, it should be said, are exactly as they should be, sitting in the sound field roughly halfway between these two extremes. (Tip: bass heads may wish to utilise a 'sub whoofer' to really bring out those deep resonances. Floppy-wristed treble fopps, kit yourself out with a high quality 'tweeter' to enhance your listening experience.)
Of the songs themselves, what can I say? If you like your genre conventions defied, your rulebook rewritten and your dick hardened, then look no further. Tub-thumper Scott Reeve's hand remains steady as ever, Tranmer remains the eternal blue-eyed soul boy, Alex G couldn't play a bum note if he tried, Dan Bolger seems hell bent on piloting his vessel into hyperspace, and vox boss R Walker's sultry singalongs continue to enthrall. And me? Weeell, let's just say I held my weight, listeners...