Comprised of Nathan Lithow (vocals, bass), who has been a touring and recording bassist for My Brightest Diamond, Inlets, and Gabriel and the Hounds; and Garth Macaleavey (drums), a former Inlets touring percussionist and head sound engineer at National Sawdust, the Brooklyn-based post-punk duo NØMADS have received attention across the blogosphere and from this site for a sound that draws from Nirvana, Fugazi and Girls Against Boys while also nodding at Zack de la Rocha’s post-Rage Against the Machine project, One Day As A Lion and Japandroids.
After a year hiatus from touring to support their 2014 full-length debut Free My Animal and from writing, the Brooklyn-based duo spent the better part of 2016 writing and recording the material that would eventually comprise their sophomore album, PHOBIC, a concept album in which each song focuses on a different phobia, approached in an abstract, almost clinical fashion, while capturing the innermost thoughts, anxieties and fears of someone in the grips of their own deepest fear; but at the core, is a cautionary message for our heightened and uncertain times — that whenever we succumb to the irrationality of our fears, chaos and self-destruction will be the end result.
Adding to the conceptual nature of the album, each song off the album will be released every month over the course of 2017 with the full-length album being slated for a 2018 release. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, it shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve written about a handful of singles PHØBIAC — “Achluphobia” focused on a fear of darkness, and throughout you can feel the narrator’s palpable and overwhelmingly primal dread and fear as darkness begins to envelope everything around him — and it’s further emphasized by angular and forceful bass chords, thundering and propulsive drumming and Lithgow’s growled vocals; the following single “Acrophobia,” focused on a fear of heights and is a explosive instrumental composition that features a rapidly shifting meter paired with a propulsive bass line meant to evoke the sensation of peering over a high ledge of a bridge or some other surface, with the instinctual recognition that solid ground and mortal peril is just below you. PHØBIAC‘s latest single “Axatophobia” focuses on a fear of disorder and chaos and features Lithgow playing an angular and distorted yet melodic bass line, Macaleavey’s forceful and dramatic drumming — while Lithgow’s vocals take on the urgent and pleading air of someone who’s life is throw in disarray in an unexpected way, and they can’t handle the slightest bit of disorder. You can practically sense the creeping dread that subtly permeates the entire song.
The Brooklyn-based post punk duo started a string of tour dates the other day at Third Man Records, Detroit and it includes a month-long residency at Piano’s with sets on May 9, 2017; May 17, 2017; May 23, 2017; and May 30, 2017.