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Phiiliip: Pet Cancer

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Starting off like a curious mixture of Beck, Syd Barrett and Holger Hiller
before getting considerably weirder as each track progresses,
barely-out-of-his-teens Philip Guichard lays zonked-out vocals over
twitchy, glitchy, chopped-up bedroom soundtracks to produce a noise both
beguiling and annoying. Think “Lady Godiva’s Operation” remixed by the
Neptunes on a budget.

But it’s not all as good as that sounds. If this was on vinyl I’d play the
first side all the time and only flip it over when I wanted to make the
neighbors cry. After the first few crunchy gems, the louche, sometimes
even catchy tunes disappear beneath a sludge of bleeps and unfathomable
noise with increasing rapidity. Promisingly goofy vocals, wayward slide
guitars and triphop beats lull you for mere seconds before morphing into
alien grunts, overloaded junkyard clatterings and a soup of speaker-warping
noise. It’s said Phiiliip wrote and recorded a thousand songs between the
ages of 14 and 18 and at times it sounds like he’s piled them all onto this
album, one on top of the other.

There are more ideas – not necessarily good ones – on each track than most
bands come up with in their careers. But right now the guy needs a producer
or an engineer to tell him to stretch out, keep the needles out of the red
once in a while and let his creations develop organically and breathe. And
for such a precocious, widely published writer, it would be nice to be able to make out a word or two of his

(Catch him live if you can, just a cute, messed-up boy with too many vowels
in his name and his tape machine – the album tracks stripped of their
superfluous schronk and beefed up with some spiffing Neneh Cherry samples,
or so it sounded to me. Looking like an enfeebled Denis Leary who wanted to
be Iggy Pop but decided to be Morrissey at the last minute and clinging
onto the microphone stand for dear life, he’ll slouch right into your

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