The Phosphorus Bombs – ‘Cancers’.
Australian Punk-Rock music isn’t half bad and in this case Sydney and its scene have something for you.
Enter The Phosphorus Bombs. The band are very much sat (well, not really) somewhere between 80’s Hardcore Punk and its eventual descendent Skate Punk. Names such as Black Flag, Poison Idea, vintage Good Riddance, Strung Out, Bad Religion and more modern off shoots of the genre such as Only Crime come to mind.
Cancers is their third release and first full-length after two high-octane EPs that are as exhausting as they are thrilling. The Phosphorus Bombs very much take the common Australian Punk sound back a few steps to when it was far more raw. That’s not say there is anything bad about its contemporary form, at all in fact but lets dig in shall we?
Another name that instantly comes to mind from the British side of the Punk scene is the brash and very Welsh Hardcore/Skate Punk of Pizza Tramp. ‘Hitchhiker’ is very much anger incarnate and 88 Fingers Louie-esque ‘We remain’ is no different. TPBs have done their homework and shows and I can’ decide if thats “”””Punk”””” or not.
‘Lethe’ is very much where the slight melodic tendencies of the previous tracks was leading to. The Vocals are harsh but melodic and the Skate Punk chord progressions and guitar lines are out in full force. Lyrically speaking this band are far more intelligent than their name would suggest to most critics at first glance. Punk ofter suffers negative stereotypes lyrically but these are not founded with this five-piece.
‘All Punks Welcome’ is perhaps one of the best on this debut full-length in its soliloquy of an ageing Punk. By the mid-point of Cancers you are fully invested in a Punk album that is for lack of a better term, pissed off and really quite angry. This album is nothing new, its been done before and even at time becomes samey but that in no way stops you from seeing it through because in actuality, its very well done and you are enjoying its catharsis.
The all important eponymous track cares not for the pressure of its station as it poses an all imporant question – ‘How many answers can be wrong?’
‘For You’ is both stylistically fun as it is tongue in cheek in its classic Punk Vs. general “selling out” agenda. Both this eighth track and the proceeding number are perhaps some of the strongest on an album that at all times risks over familiarity but still very skilfully almost completely negates such a criticism.
The Phosphorus bombs do fast old-school Hardcore very well but this album would not be what it is without their adoration for more modern fast melodic Skate Punk, with the example of ‘Chromo-Clocking’ really hammering that home.
‘…And Left’ teases use with riffs and mid-tempo before stepping in and out of old tricks while its brutally haunting lyrical conviction repeatedly smacks you in the face before the upbeat breakneck pace of closer ‘Apples and Trees’ with its quotability quite expectedly through the roof cheekily gives you another slap.
It is ok to be ok and this album is far more than ok.
Find the band below: