Phobia, "Serenity Through Pain"
California grind/punk/crust band Phobia plays 23 very homogeneous tracks on their latest album Serenity Through Pain. This band, like so many others before them who try to make this genre sound good, manage to trip on their shoelaces before even getting started. There's something completely unconvincing about these guys. Maybe it's because they try to use political ideas in their music and then manage completely juvenility with song titles like "Hurray for Jesus" and "Merry Killing" and inadequate vocabulary (how many times can YOU say fuck in one sentence?...it gets old quickly). Or it could be that Phobia uses too many movie sound bytes in their songs. One or two per album may be acceptable, but the extent to which this group abuses this tactic is shameful as well as aggravating. Finally, and probably most importantly, Phobia's music, though better than Benumb or Anal Cunt, doesn't cut it. Nasum, Skitsystem and now Lockup seem to have the crust formula right, and when Phobia's compared to these bands it's clear that there's something lacking on Serenity Through Pain.