Phil & the Osophers – Toward Conquering the Invisible North
One of the finest, most perfectly polished pop acts you’re ever… no, actually, this really is fucking rough as hell. It really is – rougher perhaps than anyone bar the likes of Maxwell Panther and the Wave Pictures (before their Moshi Moshi days). And do I love it? Of course I fucking do. Cast iron proof that really all you need in order to make a great album is a cast-iron knack for an infectious tune, and the ability to write good lyrics.
This has both of these qualities in spades. The rough recordings seem to be used as an extra instrument, because Phil himself sings in a lazily casual sort of a way, so I get the impression none of this is all that accidental. There are only two of them as well, and they’ve known each other since school too, so the parallels to the Wave Pictures continue.
They seem to take a perverse pride in not really being able to play things all that well. The recorder (or whatever it is, I’m not sure) on I Will Reverse It sounds like a primary school music class, and apparently the drummer, Kevin, didn’t learn the drums all that recently and there were one or two teething problems early on. Honestly, though, it really doesn’t seem to matter. They clatter and wail their way through their songs and somehow it all just seems to work.
It’s largely upbeat and oddly infectious, with a sort of careless enthusiasm which seems to pervade the album. Sure, it might be a little inconsistent but I’ve really enjoyed listening to this, and I look forward to raising eyebrows when we invite my parents round for dinner next and it slowly dawns on my Mum that, no, it’s not the fucking Lighthouse Family.
Phil & the Osophers – Third World American
Phil & the Osophers – La Bastille