Pheromoans featured in our Top 50 New Bands of 2013 list earlier in the year, and they continue to be ones to watch. They follow their well-received fourth full length album Does This Guy Stack Up? with the enigmatic and inventive Art Mist EP.
Pheromoans are an experimental 6-piece from South East England comprised of Russell Walker, The Octogram, Dan Bolger, Alex Garran, and James Tranmer. They are known for their off-kilter, sparse rhythms and deadpan DIY style, which has given them the ‘avant garage’ tag.
The Art Mist EP’s lead track Art Mist feels like a revolutionist statement, an eerie jagged dissonance of plectrum twang recalling The Virgin Prunes and Swell Maps. It’s down-tuned and doomy, with a deliberately measured metronomic drumming pattern, like a slow march to your own execution.
Prince Anne is a short, sparse little shuffle full of sarcastic wit and dark humour, a bored denunciation of life in the UK with a bouncy, jerky bass pluck and some woodwind blows.
Just when you think you’ve witnessed the full spectrum of what Pheromoans are capable of, side b throws My Wild Irish Dream in your face, a chaotic, metallic drone of keyboard warbles and echo treated vocals.
There is a creative experimental looseness to the previous two songs, and while always interesting and rewarding, the EP is definitely book-ended with the strongest tracks, and the ones which seem to have a more focused identity (Art Mist and the minimal yet melodic Beazer Homes Again).
Within four pretty varied offerings, this EP effectively shows off the band’s dynamic, channeling their disenchantment with modern English life into great lurching rhythms and fragmented grooves. The sound is new, yet rooted in the familiarity of the UK post-punk style, so that there’s nothing the more casual or out of touch listener might be overly put off by.
Pheromoans are not standoffishly arty or clever, either, and there’s a nice erratic shamble and primitivism to the compositions – I’m sure they would have been John Peel favourites.
Get your copy of the Art Mist EP here.
All words by Carrie Quartly, you can read more of her writing on the site here.