Pheromoans – Does This Guy Stack Up? – album review

The Pheromoans - Does This Guy Stack Up? (Upset The Rhythm)
Available now

Yup, I have decided that I like this. It took a while for it to grow on me, I will be honest, but in the end I have been won over.

These guys are good and weird. The recipe for this album appears to be: a) take one kitchen sink, b) throw everything into it.

It’s a mash of sounds. It almost feels like it should not work. However, it does most of the time.

They seem to have a lot of reviewers comparing them to Joy Division and The Fall. They aren’t too far off with that really. But, they almost sound like a bunch of guys who are just too darn lazy to have any influences, so whatever comes out of them just comes out of them, and there you have it and that is that!

Sometimes it’s a bit messy. Sometimes it’s neat and tidy. At least once the lead singer quacks like a very bored but intelligent duck. What’s not to like about that?

I won’t lie, there are hits and misses on this album, but one massive, full body, straight on hit is “Grab a Chair” which I absolutely love and can’t stop listening to. And, it has probably the lowest budget video that may have ever been made to go along with it. I love the upbeat darkness, the way the guitar and bass sound. The voice. Check it out:

The lead singer is a librarian. That’s cool. I like that.

Reading a recent interview with him, he comes across as a total slacker dude who just likes words, sarcasm, dark humour, music and generally just being rather glum. His name is Russell Walker. The rest of the band is James Hines on drums, Octogram on bass, Alex G on guitar, Janson Sansobite on guitar as well and Dan Bolger (Janice?) on violin and organ. Yes, six of them in total.

If this album follows the same ethics as displayed in a 2010 interview with French magazine, Freak Out! then this was not done in a studio, mainly because they can’t afford to use them, and well, I’ll let them say it: “we record all our stuff, as it happens, without rehearsing it.” And it sounds like that, for better or worse. And, once again, allow me to reiterate, “Grab A Chair” is a damn great song.

From what I have read on the internet (which obviously means it’s true), The Pheromoans are more popular in the US than they are in the UK, but are still considered “one of London’s favourite underground bands” according to Gilded Gutter. Apparently, they also like Insane Clown Posse. Who would have thought? And yes, it appears that last one is definitely true.

This lo-fi, poetically sarcastic slacker band is worth a listen.

Find out more about the Pheromoans on their blog or their Facebook page  and check out some of their older stuff on Soundcloud. Buy their album through their label if you can’t find it in your local record shop.

Did I mention how great “Grab A Chair” is?

All words by Chris Hearn. You can read more from Chris on LTW here.


  1. Saw these guys supporting John Maus in London last month. I thought they rocked. Something in their oddball mix that just works somehow and you can’t help bouncing along with them.


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