Incredibly diverse and sound in their technical ability, the Phage sounds like a different band from one song to the next. In 2002, the Kish brothers met up with Ben Moore and created the prog/garage rock band The Phage. Creative melodic rock backed by the strong garage influence of the Motor City, the band brings a diverse style of rock to the Detroit underground that is unlike anything you’ve ever heard. Their new album Princess Magma is 14 tracks of melodic brilliance; a testament to the hardworking nature of the band and what the Detroit music scene has to offer.
Like many bands in the scene, a large number of influences come together to create a dynamic sound backed by a dingy garage rock overlay. One minute they sound like French experimental group Air, the next like Pennsylvania born Man Man. Each song A.D.D. in its sound, yet carefully constructed. Multi-instrumental tracks backed by creative and upbeat percussion shows just how wide of a scope the Phage can cover while remaining in the realm of rock. Princess Magma is truly a breakthrough for the band, showcasing their understanding of writing great compositions in classic rock format and having the talent to successfully experiment with their sound.
Princess Magma is an album that experimental fans will find compelling after the first listen. Each track completely unique and brilliant in its own way. The opening track “Sister Moonlight” begins almost sounding like a more upbeat and almost quirky Joy Division song, setting the tone for a truly unpredictable album. Great tonality and the true garage rock influence can be seen in the track “Eridanus” which is a shifting rock track with some truly interesting instrumentals backing up memorable lyrics and vocals. “Shambles” which might be the best track on the album is a hooky and dark hymn-like rock track that has a little hint of Tool hidden within. All of this diversity leads up to the final track “Dirty Money” which chugs the album to an exciting conclusion.
The perfect blend of rigid and upbeat, the Phage has released one hell of a LP in Princess Magma. Listeners will immediately find the album both interesting in its approach, solid in its content, and extremely well produced. Truly harboring potential for what could be their breakthrough album, it’s unlikely that Detroit music goers will be able to ignore the Phage any longer. Check them out at the Hamtramck Blowout on March 4 at the New Dodge.