Phern – Cool Coma
4.11.17 by Ryan Durfee
I was really excited to check out this tape by Montreal’s Phern after finding out a member of Each Other was involved. I absolutely loved their “Being Elastic” album from 2k14. The story goes that an unemployed Hélène Barbier (who also plays in the excellent Moss Lime) invited Ben Lalonde over one afternoon to see what they could jam out. They invited a veritable who’s who of Montreal weirdo rock to round out the arsenal and created a supergroup greater than it’s individual bands.
“Cool Coma” is a wonderfully off kilter pop record full of angular DC hooks and slack art rock quirkiness. You’ll hear influences of Deerhoof, Rapider Than Horsepower, Ulysses Hellier, or any of the lineup’s daytime bands. Phern recorded the album over the course of a year, and the songs appear in the order in which they were written. Opening with the insanely catchy Excavator, “Cool Coma” immediately makes it’s agenda known with Curtians-esque guitar lines lazily chiming, allowing ample room for Hélène’s surrealist poetry to run rampant. The track Moving Boxes pulls in Elephant 6 sensibilities, refracted through Dischord-iscisms. One of my favorite songs on here is Crosswalk Talk, exuding 5rc cool with it’s fractured poly-rhythms & nods to the dancefloor. The whole album is a fantastically fun record and gets me really excited about what these cats will put out in the future.
Cop this from Fixture Records.