Phringe Dwellers - Phringe Dwellers (self released)
Don't feel sorry for the fact that, at the time of writing, only five people “liked” Fringe Dwellers on Facebook. It’s just that the music of this veteran Sydney trio is much better than their online self-promotion.
They’ve only been around a few months and this three-track CD single is Phringe Dwellers’ first foray into “product”, but it indicates that there could be enough in the kit bag to stretch to a worthwhile album. The songs hark back, relentlessly, to inner-Sydney circa the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and that’s where the band’s spiritual roots lie.
Guitarist-vocalist John South and bassist Carl Edman were members of formidable blues-rockers The Hunchbacks back then, while drummer (and past I-94 Bar scribe) Simon Li is an expatriate Melbourneite who was brought up on a diet of the Powder Monkeys. While the music never reaches those intensity levels, it does hit hit its own mark.
“This Time I’m Out” is a spritely pop-rocker propelled by South’s bright guitar. For a bassist, Ekman has a classic “guitar player’s voice”, that shouldn’t worry too many. Choirboy singers are so over-rated anyway, and he sounds absolutely at home on the Ed Kuepper-esque slide number, “Wintertime Blues”. Middle song, “Never Going Back”, locks into a nice feel and South’s guitarwork again stands out.