Toronto’s Cellphone know how to use their resources. Their sound lies at the intersection of thrash and synthpunk, and makes alarming use of texture to pull this combination off. They’ve set the bar high for themselves in titling their forthcoming debut LP Excellent Condition, but it looks like they’re having no trouble living up to the name.
The album opens up with “No Wind In Hell”, which is deceptively short for all that it manages to pack in. Layers of thin, whirring synth noises bubble up alongside the guitar before making way for its huge, quick-paced metallic rip. Meanwhile, the drums come in hard and fast, with cymbals glazing over the other instrumentation. The vocals are also in overdrive, harsh and measured shouts that gather force and energy as they move through the choppy instrumental sections, cutting out briefly for a frantic, wailing guitar solo and a grainy, pulsing electric drone. The track makes reference to the underworld, but Cellphone have a sound that’s at times more alien than demonic—though the harsh vocals and heavy riffs will sound familiar to fans of any manner of hard rock, the electric keyboard textures they bring in register as otherworldly.
Excellent Condition will be out November 25 via the appropriately named label Telephone Explosion.