Editor's Rating

Portland’s Phosphene mix up the shoegaze and indie rock to provide a set of memorable songs in a filler free album, Lotus Eaters

8.5
Bandcamp

Out now is the new album by Phosphene, a band who combine Shoegaze with a Post-Punk sound and nods to Alternative rock bands of old. ‘Lotus Eaters’ is available on July 7th over on the bands Bandcamp site.

This album has an experimental feel which is reminiscent of Alt-Rock bands such as Sonic Youth, the less lead-guitar moments of Dinosaur Jr, Shoegaze bands like Slowdive and a fusion of a sound of Post-Punk bands of yesteryear such as The Passions, Blondie and Gang of Four.
The female vocals are clear, powerful and distinctive, putting the listener in mind of a slew of 90s female-fronted Alternative bands and artists including Throwing Muses, Lush, Veruca Salt and Madder Rose.

Tunes are pretty, rocky and well-crafted, yet unhurried and are full of creative ideas. They reflect the confidence of the band being unafraid to move between a pop tune and more shoegazy sonic experimentation, such as on the opening track, ‘Incinerate’. There’s pretty, Alt-Rock ballads such as ‘Spiral’ whereas ‘Seven Ways’ creates a lush soundscape for the vocals. The third tune, ‘Frames’ has more of an IndiePop feel and is more stripped back, à la ‘On Fire’ era Galaxie 500, as has ‘The Wave’, with it’s masterful mesh of bass, drums and vocal hooks. Edgier tracks, such as ‘The Body’ provide light, shade and contrast to the album, encapsulating a darker mood and tone.

There’s more upbeat tracks, including ‘Carousel’, which although has introspective lyrics, has a blindingly upbeat sensibility musically, with it’s warm, summery guitar licks. Similarly, ‘Incandescent Plumes’ has that infectious bounce, with it’s bass-driven Punky sensibility.

There is a ‘less is more’ approach on some of the tracks on this album. The Howling Bells style minimalism of ‘Cocoon’, which concentrates on vocal and keys-driven melody, creating a gentle Indie anthem.
The final tune ‘Skyscraper Shade’ encapsulates everything that is distinctive about this album, melodic vocal hooks, projected and warm voice, danceable bass and drum grooves and fuzzy guitar licks.
‘Lotus Eaters’ is blessed with memorable tunes without any filler or weak points. Singer Rachel Frankel Will hypnotise with her voice and guitar with a bass and drum groove to make you move.