Man, there are too damn few bands in town like this; most rock bands that try to be funny seem to do so at the expense of the actual music, instead throwing lame jokes at half-assed punk tunes or faux-hardcore posturing. Which is a damn shame, because The Phlegmatics manage to fit in both sarcastic, self-deprecating humor about their inherent nerd/geek/dork-dom and roaring Marshall-stack guitars and pretty harmonies. They take the best parts of Weezer, The Stereo, The Descendents, and that godawful band Nerf Herder and mash ’em all together to make their own peculiarly catchy brand of Katy-bred power-pop.
I mean, what’s not to love about a band of self-professed nerds who sign about how they get mistaken for being gay (“Funny That Way”) or how that mild-mannered radio guy introducing This American Life really wants to go scream and jump around in a punk-club pit (“Punk Rock Club”), all the while sounding like they’d be opening for OK Go in some arena somewhere? And I’ve just gotta like a band that’s willing to namecheck various characters from The Iliad and The Odyssey and then “rhyme” “Helen of Troy” with “Siegfried and Roy.” I can’t explain it, folks, but it works.
I’d thought the Phlegs were dead for a while there, after putting out 2004’s awesomely cool Alumnus to some favorable press & playing the Press Awards show a few years back — I happened to catch ’em in some too-small venue off Main and was blown away, but then…poof. It seemed like they were gone, toast, over, etc., but thankfully, they were only in hibernation. They’ve now returned with a new band member, Dave “Dad” Marshall (father to singer/guitarist Jonathan and brother Ethan, I’m guessing), and have reportedly spent the time off working on new stuff for their second album, the aptly-titled Sophomore Effort. What I’ve heard of it has been pretty damn cool, so I’ll be looking forward to it.
- Tonight: The Phlegmatics & Alkari Up at Rudz
- The Phlegmatics, Life is Better with a Soundtrack
- The Wild Moccasins
- The Literary Greats
- Scale The Summit
- Muhammad Ali
- The Phlegmatics, Billy the Star Fighter Pilot vs. The Phlegmatics
- Lisa’s Sons
- Update: Ghost Mountain (Tonight!) + Searching for Signal (9/26) + J. Tillman (11/26) + New/Old Films + More
- American Fangs
- Update: Pete Yorn (Tonight!) + New Featured Bands (Tambersauro & B L A C K I E)
- B L A C K I E
- the last place you look