There are four purely instrumental tracks on Harmonic; “Exuberance,” “Killion,” “Mezzanine,” and the title cut. Although all four have their merits, I was especially intrigued by “Exuberance.” To begin with think classic late-seventies Zappa, especially his insanely complicated Lather project, and the double-album that was pulled out of that fiasco was Sheik Yer Bouti. One of the many gems on that collection was “Rubber Shirt,” and “Exuberance” has more than a little in common with this amazing track.
Enough variety for you? Philm are not through yet. If a visit to the Batcave might intrigue you, try the Bauhaus-inflected “Held In Light.” This band being as eclectic as they are do not just take a Goth detour however. That would be too simple. The track breaks for some hardcore thrash during the chorus, only to flip back to the earlier feel. Back and forth, soft/loud - it is a format that has been done to death. But never like this.
The bass of Pancho Tomaselli is the third element in Philm’s wild musical concoction. It is a powerful force throughout the record, but a couple of standout examples include the deceptively titled “Mild,” and the instrumental “Killion.”
In the strange universe that Philm come from, it only seems fitting that they would close their album with a poem from Baudelaire. “Meditation“ is the one they chose, and it quite naturally is set to the sounds of thrash.
As must be abundantly clear by now, Harmonic is a tour de force of an album, and one of the most inspired endeavors I have heard in quite some time.