Grindcore mainstays, Phobia, ripped through Philly’s Millcreek Tavern last week with a solid dose of local talent that included No Stayer, Backslider, and Infernal Stronghold. Phobia are riding high and steady, having just released a brand new LP, Remnants of Filth, on Willowtip Records and are coming off a slew of high profile shows, including the infamous Chaos in Tejas musical festival last month. Though slightly road worn from vast jumps around the country in the days leading up to this performance, the members of Phobia were in high spirits and sat for quick video interview with Blow The Scene prior to hitting the stage. We talked with founding member, Shane “The Pain” McLachlan last year following the release of the band’s Unrelenting EP on Relapse Records, and were happy to see the band still bringing it pedal-to-the-floor style. For this round of questions, McLachlan brought along Phobia bassist Calum Mackenzie, as the two shared insight into the recording process behind the new record, hilarious tour stories, and plans for the future for our readers around the globe.
No Stayer, who feature members of one our favorite Philly bands, Nightfall, hit the stage with a vengeance. This three-piece broke of a dense blend of Motör-charged riffs mixed with aggressive hardcore punk for a set the marked one of the best opening performances this reviewer has seen in quite some time. No Stayer is fresh on the scene and we definitely look forward to seeing what they do next.
Philly mainstays Backslider and Infernal Stronghold are both fresh off of Maryland Deathfest appearances and gave two blistering performances that were undoubtedly the best I’ve seen from each band. Backslider, who have received no shortage of coverage on BTS, played the tightest set I’ve seen from them in two years. This grinding duo seamlessly scorched the PA with a crushing mix of speedy grind complimented with sludge-riddled breakdowns. Tighter than a frog’s ass. We also caught up with Backlider for an exclusive interview that we originally planned to put in motion today, but given the amount of drunken antics (including a fire-setting enthusiast in the background), the film is going to have to undergo some final edits before it’s safe for public consumption. This being a first in BTS history, but rest assured, it’s worth the wait.
Infernal Stronghold brought the fucking thunder. With a concrete foundation of driving, double-bass-laden drumwork, this quintet offers some of the best death-induced metal you’ll find along the the Schuylkill River. It was more than apparent these bands were in top form having just come off a round of shows surrounding MDF X. If these bands are new to you, do yourself a favor and research further with the links provided below.
Phobia closed out the evening blasting through a barrage of old-school tracks with drummer Bryan Fajardo all but setting his kit on fire with some of the fasted and most precise grind-riddled blast-beats you’ll find anywhere. Bassist Calum Mackenzie and guitarist CC Loessin, set off a flawless barrage of meaty riffs that didn’t even miss the second guitar section Phobia delivered on its latest record. Of course, McLachlan punctuated this performance with his patented and wide range of guttural-to-ear-shredding screams that simply blew the roof off.
Interview with Shane “The Pain” McLachlan and Calum Mackenzie of Phobia
[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbvs0Y5P2Yo[/youtube]
Article and Interview by Joshua T. Cohen
All Photos by Blow The Scene Senior Staff Photographer Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging