Phobia – Generation Coward

Rating: 2/5
Distributor/label: https://www.willowtip.com/home.aspx
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://phobia.bandcamp.com/album/generation-coward
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/phobiagrindcore

Band line-up:

Danny Walker
Shane McLachlan
Raymond Herrera
Leon del Muerte
Calum Mackenzie

Tracklisting:

1 – Cynic Bastard
2 – Haters Be Hating When Ya Living Good
3 – Imbecile
4 – Bozo of Grind
5 – Internet Tough Guy
6 – Excretion
7 – Cut Throat
8 – PC Fascist Fuck Off
9 – Aspiration Lost
10 – Falsification
11 – Miserable Awakening
12 – To Be Convinced
13 – Condemned to Tell

Review:

Phobia are a grindcore band who formed in Orange County California in 1990 and their seventh album ‘Generation Coward’ will be released on 9th August through Willowtip Records. Their music has hardcore punk influences and is just as pissed off as ever. The group also have a strong sociopolitical message and sense of rage that is legendary in the underworld scene. They have shared the stage with the likes of Chaos U.K., Grave and Napalm Death. 

Let’s face facts: If you can’t find an opportunity to place this stuff really loud, this most likely won’t be a truly enjoyable experience for you. If I was a grumpy old man, I would simply call it ‘noise’. Other than the crazed blast beats, this music takes next to no skill to write and perform. The riffs are mostly just detuned and evil sounding chord progressions/tremolo picked ideas, that have the same kind of sound that was popular in the early days of death metal/grind. The way certain songs are so short they are comical (intentionally or not) is also far from new, and the use of samples is equally tired. (One of which was taken from Team America World Police).

There are rare glimpses of creativity, however. Closing song ‘Condemned to Tell’, has a more thoughtful chord progression in the form of a twin-guitar attack. One guitar plays power chords, whilst the other utilises more adventurous and somewhat sinister harmony. Even though they are about as simple as lead lines get, when they appear, solos do add a sense of colour and again, more of that kind of stuff would be appreciated. 

In conclusion, if the band said their album was written in a day, I’d believe them. Ok, there are many people out there who have a taste in music that is far from intellectual and that’s fine. However, Phobia’s work is too cliched and basic to be taken seriously on a critical level. Sure, it pumps the adrenaline and at least it isn’t all perfected on computer, making the passion from the performers sound genuine, but again, if you can’t play it loud, you’re arguably screwed. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann
Share