Phantastic Ferniture Champion Garage Pop Sound With Self-Titled Debut (ALBUM REVIEW)

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While there has never been a shortage of great rock bands coming out of Australia, this decade has seen a major influx of Aussie rockers. The psychedelic rock scene has been most efficacious in Australia recently. From the Tame Impala in Perth to The Baudelaires and King Gizzard in Melbourne, the psychedelic movement is as alive in Oz as it is in the rest of The West. However, the garage rock/pop movement has risen in popularity most notably with the success of Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett, as well as bands like The Drones and Twerps. The most recent band to catch some buzz is the Sydney-based Phantastic Ferniture, who have managed to create an album full of infectious tracks with their debut self-titled album.

The members reportedly each took on an instrument they don’t usually play. If this made any of them uncomfortable, it doesn’t show. Every track sounds like it was played by artists that are completely in tune with their instruments. The first track, “Uncomfortable Teenager” does a great job of presenting the listener with a sense of how the album is going to sound. Playful bass notes accent the upbeat rhythm of the drums while jangling guitar strums under melodies from singer Julia Jacklin. “Bad Timing” is appropriately the lead single from the album and it’s easy to imagine listening to this catchy track live while singing along to the verse. With an album that stays pretty solidly in the same vein, the only way to stand out is to be a bit slower and more melancholy. “Parks” manages to accomplish this quite nicely with a slowed down grove and the addition of some psychedelic reverb.

All in all, Phantastic Ferniture’s debut is a pretty solid piece of work. The beats and melodies are catchy and Jacklin’s vocals work incredibly with the sound. The overall sound feels like a combination of Sleater-Kinney meets Camera Obscura. The only downside is that many songs are dynamically too similar which makes some of the songs sound indistinguishable from each other. With that said, this album is a great start from what has the potential to be a fantastic band.

Photo Credit: Nick Mckk

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