[ SHORT REVIEWS - LIST | DETAILED REVIEWS
Released in April 2020, this is the first in what is planned to be a series of archival recordings from Phideaux. What we have here are demoes, different versions of songs, rough mixes, and work in progress, so in some ways is designed very much for the fan. I would be interested in knowing something about where each song comes from and the context behind it, but that is a minor quibble. I did immediately recognise the title of one song, “Have You Hugged Your Robot Today”, here in a basic track version, which originally appeared on 2006’s ‘313’. Given the nature of the recordings and the music, there is a great deal of variety, which gives an interesting introduction to someone coming across Phideaux for the first time. Interestingly, while some songs are credited to Phideaux, others are credited to just Phideaux Xavier, while others find him credited with others. It is one of these, “When The Day Breaks You Down (Mix 1)” which is credited to Phideaux Xavier with Tombstones In Their Eyes, which is probably the standout track on the album. Delicate vocals build over the top of a piano and drone as the song becomes a distorted metallic progressive monster. It is powerful, dramatic, with many different phases and I am at a loss as to why this is the first time it has appeared on an album. Some tracks are more Floydian than others, with the live version of “Thank You For the Evil” leading the pack, where Phideaux is joined by female singers and the guitars combine with very fluid keyboards. Overall, this album should not be considered as yet another artist trawling through the archive and bringing out different versions and unreleased songs to milk the punters for even more. Firstly, as with all his catalogue this is a “name your price” release, and secondly this contains some really nice songs. It means that this is an album which even a newcomer to Phideaux can pick up and happily enjoy – they do not need to already know the rest of the catalogue. I truly hope that more people will take the opportunity to discover the wonderful material of Phideaux Xavier.
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]