Album Reviews

Phillie – Love With Fear Review

phillie_lovewithfear_cover

Released By: Ghost Town Artist

Release Date: February 22, 2013

Genre: Classic Rock

Links: https://www.facebook.com/PhillieOfficial

 

Lineup:

Vilde Lie (Vocal)

Philip Obuskovic (Guitar)

Birger Furulund (Rhythm Guitar)

Marcus Pedersen (Bass)

Jostien Ratama (Drums)

 

Tracklist:

1 Can’t Hear You

2 This Is Just a Game

3 Love With Fear

4 This Will All Be Yours

5 A Little Love

6 I Wonder Why

7 California

8 Skin and Bones

9 Running Out

10 Home

 

Anyone else remember that classic sound of eighties hard rock fondly? In love with the distinctive sounds that came from the era? Norwegian hard rockers, Phillie sure do! The band was formed in 2012 by their guitarist, leader and namesake, Philip Obuskovic, what they did for their debut, “Love With Fear” was a really interesting move, and one that I think worked out quite well.

The concept for “Love With Fear” is actually pretty similar to the one Slash used for his solo debut back in 2010, in that there is a different singer on each track. Between the ten vocalists, there is a lot of ground covered on the sound spectrum. Each vocalist brings their own sound and style to the table, so no two songs sound alike. As with Slash’s record, since there are so many singers, this album may look and feel a bit too much like a compilation as opposed to a real record for some, but I assure you this isn’t the case. In spite of the rotating door on the vocalist position, the rest of the lineup is stable for the whole record. The instrumental work really ties the songs together, and makes it feel more consistent from track to track.

The centerpiece of the record lies in the guitar playing of Phillip Obuskovic. His guitar work is very versatile, and his ability is well above average. His riffs and solos aim to sound vintage, and he manages to do so without ripping anyone off. Over the course of the record, Phillip plays in several different styles, the majority of which sounds akin to the hair metal scene in the mid to late 80’s, think Mötley Crüe, or early Guns N’ Roses, though there are several other sounds explored as well, including some punk rockers, and a few tender jams. One thing (thankfully) missing however is glam rock’s influences. For some, when you tell them to picture 1980’s, the first things they see are makeup, big hair, elaborate outfits and lyrics about the never-ending party. In other words, they picture Poison and many of the other bands that were playing on the Sunset Strip in those days. In their deep well of inspiration, Phillip never quite finds himself playing anything C.C. DeVille would have played on a Poison record, and the lyrics never have the cheesiness that the glam bands are known for. The rhythm section is very good too, I would compare them to Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams of AC/DC, because they aren’t good because they play complicated fills, they are good because they keep it basic, and stick to focusing on driving the song forward with a solid beat.

The record itself isn’t that innovative, but it isn’t supposed to be, more of a tribute or throwback to one of the golden eras in Rock n’ Roll. The band really do an excellent job of capturing the sound they were after, everything from the guitar tones to the song structures sound like they could have been written in 1985. Another interesting thing I noticed was even some of the singers sound somewhat like some of the major singers that were out around that time. There is an Alice Cooper sounding vocalist on the record, on the opening track, “Can’t Hear You”, Magnus Fyen sounds reminiscent of David Lee Roth, and Paulie Vercouteren’s vocals give “California” an early punk feel, to name a few examples. To me, the best thing about this record is just how well Phille has their sound down. Right from the first listen, even though none of these songs feel like copies of pre-existing recordings, the songs still feel vaguely familiar. When I say familiar, I do not mean they are re-hashed classics, just that they are so in tune with some of the records that came out in that era, that it at times feels like you are listening to a 20-plus year old record. “Love With Fear” is a blast to listen to because unlike most bands that chase a vintage sound, Phillie keeps the material fresh and original. You can hear the influences, but you can tell the band didn’t try to imitate them. If you are up for a high energy, catchy as hell trip down memory lane, then buckle your seatbelts, and give “Love With Fear” a listen. It is one of the classic records you’ve never heard!

 

Written by Connor

Ratings    Connor    8/10

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