3 WAYS TO LEAVE
Colchester quartet Phoenix Butterfly
release their debut EP “3 Ways To Leave”, showcasing the bands style
that seems to have taken early 90’s grunge, allowed it to absorb a quantity
of classic rock and then fitted it neatly into a framework of modern metal.
Initial impressions are influenced by the voice of Starkey, which has a melodic if not slightly gravely feel to it and sounds like a slightly under the weather Chris Cornell. As well as the Cornell comparison and particularly with the third song entitled “The Drawing” there’s a sound and style which is overwhelmingly reminiscent of Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam. Starkey’s voice is so close to being very good, but there’s the smallest suggestion in this recording that he hasn’t quite got control over his entire range just yet. If he can perfect that, his future should be rewarding.
The EP delivers four songs that have a big sound, one that looks further back than it does forward and has produced something that maybe a little unfashionable. These are fairly long tracks that can take a while to get going, with plenty of gentle jangly guitars building up to some fierce riffery and producing mainstream melodic metal\rock with a modern punch.
Phoenix Butterfly are a very competent outfit but maybe they’re a little unadventurous at times. The EP is well performed and produced and indeed there isn’t anything but minor issues to highlight, but somehow the songs seem lacking in character and just don’t stand out. The absence of hooks or much in the way of infectivity may make keeping interest throughout the EP difficult for some, for others the strong melody and powerful guitars will win the day. 6/10.
Rigsby (26th July, 2003)