You’d be forgiven for wondering why it takes the Phobics so long to release records because while they may have been regularly hitting the stage (including trips to Ireland and Europe – luckily before Brexit potentially complicates matters), their recorded output has been a little less regular. In fact, Deptford’s finest punk band released their last album, ‘Deptford Calling’, back in 2011.
Finally, 8 years later, the London veterans return with their new record, ‘Burnt Rubber’. And for those wondering if it was worth the wait – it was. And then some.
Back in those halcyon days of Uber Rock, when it was a revolutionary website terrorising the visitor numbers of those shite classic rock websites we’d all become despondent with, I was given the privilege of mulling over the Phobics’ 2004 EP, ‘Down and Out in Deptford’. Since those scrappy recordings they’ve been on quite the upward trajectory.
From the off, ‘Burnt Rubber’ is a glorious success in punk rock and garage rollicking. Always with their finger on the pulse, the band set the story with opener, ‘Gentrification’. As London is bought and sold to the highest bidder – the soul being torn from Denmark Street particularly lamentable – this album is something of a soundtrack to this cultural decline. The ‘Hymn for the 12 Bar Dudes’ closes the record on a breeze of sadness.
This isn’t a sad set of songs though, and neither did I expect it to be. It’s a fun and raucous romp that moves on hugely from their 2011 effort. From the insanely catchy ‘Don’t Lay Your Flowers on my Grave’, to the bang on the money ‘Politics’, their latest release is delightfully enjoyable, excellently produced, and was all recorded in two half day sessions. Whether it’s ‘Path of Love’ or ‘She’s a Runaway’, the Phobics just don’t let up on this album. The Motorhead/Ramones adaptation of ‘P.H.O.B.I.C.S’ is also a nice touch.
‘Burnt Rubber’ is a record of true revolutionary punk rock style, the way it should be, and mixed with the hard groove of 60s garage. It’s loud and it’s angry, but it’s also laughing at all this nonsense we’re living in every day, and it’s probably laughing at you too.
Author: Craggy Collyde