The Phoenix Experiment – Black Knight Satellite (2013)

Well, the cover’s certainly interesting, it looks like someone is slow cooking a cauldron of snot…

Black Knight Satellite EP cover art

Onto loftier issues, what do Warrington band The Phoenix Experiment actually sound like?

The title track buzzes to life, surging electro and motorik bass. Confident vocals mix with twanging guitar as the drums lay dance a danceable beat. Catchy chorus… really catchy chorus. ‘Black Knight Satellite’ has a blissful sense of its own effortless style.

‘Living Like Dogs’, once it kicks in from a moody synth opener, would be perfect for a compilation of Matt Le Tissier goals. It might take 90 seconds to flower but when it does it’s a piece of stellar pop. It has that glam tinged guitar riffs of acts like Suede with the dance / rock crossover swagger of many a Mancunian tune of the era. It’s superb stuff, guaranteed to get peole dancing.

Try out some interactive fun at home…

Listen…

https://thephoenixexperiment.bandcamp.com/track/living-like-dogs

Watch…

‘Chaos’ is slower with a submerged, slithering bass and drums that manage to sound thumping and detached at the same time. More obviously psychedelic, while being a classy example of the art, the song would be stronger by simply, being stronger, in my opinion. From the basis of this EP The Phoenix Experiment’s strength is at punchy, attention grabbing songs, the use of effects here is frustrating. There is an epic in here that could be almost Chameleons-esque.

What is impressive is that The Phoenix Experiment have a 90s quality of songsmanship and pop sheen while using sounds from various genres but never sounding like copycats raiding the vinyl. Mike Bee’s vocals are fantastically simple, which isn’t being critical, quite the opposite, they have a directness and clarity that is refreshing. Here is a band proud to show off a chorus or too.

Black Knight Satellite is the sound of The Phoenix Experiment taking 90s music out back for a cheeky fondle. Well worth checking out folks…

Incidentally, whatever happened to David May?

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