Release Date: May 23, 2015
Remember that awesome emo band in your hometown who made a demo CD and sold it to you and your friends? They were legends in around town but no one elsewhere really knew who they were. You always knew that if they got a quality recording they could be MASSIVE, but their limited budget held them back. That’s what you have here with Phargo. An awesome tape, that sounds like you are listening to it with earplugs in. The recording quality reminds me a lot of Denison Marr’s Holding Hands (@35000 Ft).
So now that I’m done with my cranky old man rant about the recording quality, what does this sound like? It’s quality late 90’s style emo that sounds like Braid or Mineral. The vocals are a bit off key and whiney, so that’s right on point. “Cool Guy Has a Chill Day” is a great tune with a chorus that gets stuck in your head. It’s fuzzy in all the right ways. One of the best instrumental tracks I’ve heard in awhile is “Thanks, Kojima” with a guitar line that sounds like an airplane taking off in the best way possible (I guess the effect is a flanger?). It builds in all of the ways an emo instrumental is supposed to build. I do wonder why it was separated from the instrumental track “Untitled” that flows right into it, but that is a question for another day. “Salmonella Fitzgerald” is an all-out jam that sounds like Braid/The Get Up Kids (pre-Dewees) at their most upbeat. Then there’s the dreamy space pop of “Josh Zirkle’s Dosh Circle” that pays homage to Ozona Records owner Josh Zirkle. It sounds a lot like something Denison Marrs could have done on that first record.
If you are a veteran of the scene like myself and are looking for something to remind you of the comfort of recordings done pre-pro tools or are a scene kid looking for a really cool tape (anime characters on the back and everything) then check out Phargo.’s Rende’s. As long as you can get past the recording quality, this is a great album. I for one can’t wait to see what Phargo. comes up with next.
Reviewed by Rob 1340