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Hotel Wrecking City Traders – Phantamonium

  • Written by  Dave Armour

A name new to me, the Australian sibling instrumental guitar and drums duo have been patchily active over the past decade with a handful of mainly split releases (including last year’s with Hey Colossus), and are joined on guitar this occasion by Raul Sanchez i Jorge (River Of Snakes et al) for four  lengthy (eight-eleven minutes) tracks.

‘Dusted Pines’ and ‘Phantamonium’, both build from subdued intros of  steady drumming (with a hint of post rock trickiness, or in the case of the latter a bit of a rolling groove ), post-metal jangle, assorted strafing drones, feedback and string scrapings  to epic psych noise conclusions. This is particularly effective on the title track which achieves a blissful union of noise, repetition, intensity and guitar scree that I would have been happy to continue for longer.     

‘Droned And Disowned Part One’ (‘Part Two’ is on the aforementioned Hey Colossus split)  is even better and expertly builds the tension through a lengthy preamble of drum rolls and feedback, before tempo shifting riffing emerges and continues to build in power, encompassing multiple breakdowns, a frustratingly brief wah-wah wig out and ending with a touch of doom metal.

Following this, the lighter toned motorik romp of ‘Entering The Lodge’ whilst enjoyable, doesn’t quite have the same levels of excitement and fervour and feels slightly anti-climatic.

In a crowded genre that is prone (at worst) to lapses into  self indulgent, soporific noodling, HWCT avoid these pitfalls and having created an absorbing and at times transcendent release, are certainly deserving of attention.

Phantamonium is available from here.


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