Phil & the Tiles


Phil & the Tiles Health/Body EP

Of course PHIL & THE TILES are from Naarm (so-called “Melbourne”). The debut EP from this six-piece(!!) is like a Stars on 45-style romp through the city’s 21st century musical underground, from jaunty janglers like TERRY and PRIMO!, to smart-assed neo-FALL twang (the SHIFTERS, most obviously), to TOTAL CONTROL/CONSTANT MONGREL downer punk…the TILES are young enough to cite teenage show-going experiences seeing bands like EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING as formative influences, and their mashup of ragged garage and pointed post-punk definitely feels like a Gen Z throwback to that particular moment in time (like, 2006–2010). “Health/Body” starts out with some jabbing, single-note guitar over a tumbling tom-heavy rhythm before bursting into a frantic synth punk stomp with dueling male/female vocals like an Aussie ANGRY ANGLES, while the janky keyboard buzz and shambolic motorik groove of “Elixir” is clearly chasing after the UV RACE. On the B-side, “Nun’s Dream” is a modern OZ DIY reboot of the unabashed pop songs that Brix Smith brought to the mid-’80s FALL table (think “Cruiser’s Creek,” “2×4,” “Shoulder Pads,” etc.), and “Trepanation” could almost be an early Flying Nun band gone goth, with steady tambourine shake, gauzy, dissolving synth, chorused-out guitar, and lyrics wallowing in depths of human misery that would put the SMITHS to shame (“I want to vomit so I don’t have to cry anymore”). I can only imagine how much ground they’ll cover if they follow this thing up with a full LP…