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Phall Fatale: Moonlit Bang Bang

Extra-hot debut from European avant-prog revolutionaries.

Phall Fatale Moonlit Bang Bang album artwork

Named after the hottest curry on the menu and described by the band as “like a dinosaur stomping through an urban sci-fi environment”, Phall Fatale have obviously thought as much about their name as their audacious, lethally spiced music.

Using two singers, two contrasting bassists and an outer limits drummer, all produced by early Swans legend Roli Mosimann, they concoct an intoxicating new style by tapping into past groundbreaking music. That includes avant-garde jazz, Iannis Xenakis, Nina Simone, Hendrix and the awesome Slits, thanks to the uncanny Ari Up resemblance in surreally spunky singers Joana Aderi and Joy Frempong. Bassist John Edwards and drummer Fredy Studer have worked with avant-jazz giants, which shows in the unpredictable anarchy of tracks such as The Girl, The Beat, Electric Eels and Sugar Drops. Fish Tan echoes Hendrix’s 1983 with the joys of swimming with the fishes. They also rampage through a stunning version of Jimi’s Manic Depression. Sleeping Beauty gets dangerously strange with bell sounds as the insidiously sexy vocals uncurl. This towering follow-up to 2012’s Charcoal On Fire is a startling new blend that’ll scorch you nicely.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!