top of page

Review | Phobophobes @The Hope & Ruin 3.12.19


Best known for stealing Paul McCartney's saliva from Abbey Road Studios, Phobophobes returned to Brighton in the lead up to their London gig. Herald from South London, Phobophobes features Meatraffle's organist, Chris OC.

Dabbling on the brink of collapse, Phobophobes brings to life the element of serious melancholic subjects in a Pumped up Kicks manner. Social observation fuels much of the bands' lyrical narratives. 'Human Baby' from their first album Miniature World contains the lyrics Laces with feigned faux socialism / Fairtrade cocaine in your system / Put it in the bin / Let the children fish it out. A social commentary on cocaine eaters, that fill their insides with the drug on weekends, to then complain about saving the world, mixed with the knowledge that our children's children's children will be the ones to fish through our rubbish in order to find new resources. A mundane reality explored through song that the indie kids will continue to dance along to.

Taking influence from the comedian Stewart Lee, German rockers, The Monks and the Scottish group Country Teasers, Phobophobes music is an apocalyptic fare ride of this giant rock we call Earth. Formed in 2013, frontman Jamie Taylor and Chris spent the mid-noughties playing in a band called The Pepys. The close-knit band have undergone the wicked shock of humans lack of immortality. The release of Miniature World was long-awaited due to the death of their guitarist George Russel, and settling on a record label. Jamie talks of Geoge, "he got into heroin really and died. That was after we finished the record. It was going to come out on this one label but obviously that throws a bit of uncertainty to a band from the perspective of a label. We weren't really a band but we had a record."

Spurred on by George's mum who wanted her son's legacy to be remembered, the first half of 'Bite The Apple' was written by George, encapsulating his struggle with life and addiction. Phobophobes have challenged the good and the bad to create a blend of dark psychedelic rock with elements of the Gothic. Unafraid to branch out, circus motifs feature in their album which not only brings to mind the notorious American thriller series American Horror Story but also the depth social topics can be explored in a seemingly humorous and cynical manner.


bottom of page