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Last Updated: 23/06/2006 12:27:16
Propaganda 625 by Phluid Skudakoi
Reviewed By Steve Rudd

Following on from this Leed's quintet's previous album releases, Cynical Smile and Release, this EP is really more of a mini-album in that it's exhilaratingly comprised of three new studio tracks, three live tracks, one specially-recorded acoustic track, plus a secret bonus track that might surprise a lot of ardent fans - even if it's not a Phluid track, but does feature frontman Polly on vocals.

Phluid have for so long teetered on the edge of breaking into the big-time with their storming brand of poppy Glam-Punk-Rock music.
For too long they have teetered, and so now it's more than high time that a release such as this one really does work the band wonders.

Their debut album in Cynical Smile was a masterpiece, but due to the disappointing way in which the band's record company at the time promoted the album, it tragically didn't set the music industry alight as planned - and as it deserved to do. Thankfully, these five Leeds-based lads haven't lost heart, with the new tunes here being stronger than ever.
Indeed, the EP-opening track in Rock 'n' Roll Is Dead (Long Live Rock 'n' Roll) - that also features on the second Screaming Tarts compilation album - might just be Phluid's greatest anthem yet, as band frontman Polly compares rock stars of old to reality TV-tuned popstars of today with his perfectly cutting lyrics, From Elvis' King to Freddie's Queen... From the Pistols and Ramones to TV gameshow unknowns.

Anthems rarely come huger than this, with the heavy trademark riffage from guitarists Scottish and Oz dominating the sound, with Jef D weaving a wicked bass-line beneath proceedings, whilst the perpetually grinning drummer Ginna thumps out a glorious beat.
Bang Bang begins with an atmospheric guitar intro, before Polly launches into a chant-a-long 'I love my country, but I fear my government' refrain, with the chorus that ensues being mighty. Their Digital TV tune, meanwhile, is another instant classic.

It's loud, proud and rocking in all the right places, with yet more cynical references to reality TV shows via a nod and a wink in George Orwell's Big Brother-obsessed direction: Don't forget to vote for your housemate... Ministry of Thought have taken your soul.'
Thus, it's great to see - as always - that the Phluid machine is kicking out quality lyrics alongside their amazing music.

The raw nature of the three live tracks provides any virgin listeners a chance to hear how the band (kind of) sounds in an in-your-face situation.
Obviously being there to witness such a spectacle in person is far, far more exciting, but these three tunes (all recorded in Wakefield's Snooty Fox) give a rough idea, as the high-octane I Need It shoulder-barges into Oh Ziggy, with its wicked bass-line and lyrics that bemoan the lack of real rock stars in this day and age: Come on kid, your stylist is here... Ziggy, where are you now?
Breakdown In Communication, however, explodes with Sex Pistols-esque swagger. Still, the acoustic version of their old melody-rich Tasty tune has just as much impact given the atmospherics in which this version is broodingly drowned, having been recorded in lead singer Polly's flat to stunning effect, capturing his fabulously soulful singing voice and prowess on guitar.
As for the aforementioned bonus track that might surprise some people, this is actually a track by a techno/ guitar band called Turbulent Soundscape and comes on like a banging Shamen choon, as though the Rave scene is still in vogue, crossed with a Faithless-styled This is what it sounds like; this is what it feel like chant that frames the track.

The reason this track features is because Polly is a guest-vocalist on the track, and as cool as it is, it's still not a patch on the rock theatrics that Phluid wield.
I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again: Phluid are one of the most exciting live bands in the country, and to ignore them and their music is churlish. So give them the time that they deserve, and you'll be suitably rewarded - I promise.

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