Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Philstines Are Therewolves

To hear the tale of how the Philistines came to be is to understand the phrase (and James song) Born of Frustration. Colin Daly, founder of the band, was literally left at the musical altar as this record was coming to fruition. Abandoned and upset the project was in doubt. Thankfully, his twin brother offered to take a shot at writing leads of the skeletal versions of what would become Therewolves! Through the magic of technology and family sticking together Philistines rose above it all with Therewolves! in hand.

Philistines modus operandi is to take pop music and strip it down to the core and then duct tape it all back together without much precision. The result of this is a shambolic effort to sound something like Radiohead, when they're weren't musos, and smashing al that into some sort of post grunge power pop monster like The Kooks. Therewolves! As a result is noisy, messy, and gnarled in all the right places. Guitars seem to have strings being pulled out of them mid-song while the vocals are gritty and slightly angsty and yet, somehow, the whole thing has this pop sensibility about it that makes you wonder if being left at the musical altar wasn't the best thing that could have happened to Philistines.

Therewolves! is a great little record; it's filled with cool hooks, noisy pedal driven guitars, enough ooh's and ahh's to last you a lifetime, and so much angsty pop you'll think it's 1993 all over again. This is the sort of record that reminds me of so many classic alternative/indie rock albums from my college radio days it scares me. I enjoyed Philistines accidental classicism and their ability to construct a gem out of a potential disaster. Therewolves! is impressive and if you like noisy pop music then howl at the moon w/Philistines.

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