Phonoclub - ‘Dance In The Clouds’ EP (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 03:40

Phonoclub EPI must confess that in this day and age receiving a CD to review where the label ‘Indie’ is being liberally bandied around to describe the band’s music will normally have me running to the hills seeing refuge faster than is someone had offered me up a prog album. It’s probably got something to do with the music that constitutes being labelled as such has normally very little to offer me other than twee major label pop pap played by bearded “artistes” wearing their guitars like brassieres, and that I’m sure you will agree just ain’t rock ‘n’ roll.


There are of course some exceptions to this rule, bands who whilst being labelled as ‘Indie’ still have a rock ‘n’ roll heart, bands like Primal Scream, Interpol and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to name but a few. Thankfully then (well for me at least) this is also the type of ‘Indie’ that Rennes quartet Phonoclub specialise in with this their self released ‘Dance In The Clouds’ EP. In fact with this six tracker they have actually produced the type of record your average NME reader will be pissing their corduroy trousers over just to get hold of it first. So with all of this in mind does ‘Dance In The Clouds’ also offer anything to your average Uber Rocker who might have a predilection for dipping their big toes into the otherwise murky waters of ‘Indie’?


Well yes and no.


Opener ‘Chase’ really is the perfect introduction to the band’s black hearted brand of ‘Indie’, harking back to an age when the weekly musical newspapers such as Melody Maker and Sounds featured proper cool Independent label bands. This track in particular is the sound of a band who like to crank up the guitars and rock a little, even if frontman Yann (who is singing in a second language remember) to my ears at least sounds a little like Brian Molko.


Likewise ‘Who Is A Threat’ is also a pretty decent stab at recreating some early nineties influenced guitar pop, the track swaggering in on a near perfect 3 minutes and 36 seconds runtime and sounding like the lads have recorded whilst sniffing a bottle of ‘Animal Nitrate’. It is however at track three, and ‘Sometimes’ where I’m mindful of something my Uber Rocking amigo Dave Prince has been picking up on of late, that being the over running track lengths on a few of the self released albums he has reviewed. Here on ‘Dance In The Clouds’ two of the following four tracks manage to clock in at over 7 minutes in length, starting with the aforementioned ‘Sometimes’ and ending with final track ‘Flying Man’, don’t get me wrong both are perfectly decent tunes, ‘Sometimes’ in particular once again bringing to mind Brett Anderson’s mob, it’s just that with a major name producer at the helm to help shape this release these tracks probably would have been a fraction of their prog like run times.


The rest of the EP is made up of ‘Like A Summer Rain’ and ‘Digital Writer’, the former taking in the lighter end of the Indie genre and thus promptly losing my interest, whilst the latter as an acoustic strum reveals the ‘Wild Ones’ that lurk within Phonoclub’s song writing capabilities


For a debut release ‘Dance In The Clouds’ is an ambitious if somewhat one paced release, it echoes the promise of other such guitar pop bands who have chimed out over the ages like The Conscience Pilate and more recently The Lost Souls Club, the trouble is will the ‘Indie’ kids buy into it or will they be too busy with the new Beaky and the Twigfluffers album to be bothered?


Who knows eh? You’ll have to better go and ask the NME for the answer to that one I guess.