It’s pretty common practise for reviews to describe a band as a sum of existing artists in ridiculous situations and combinations; "They sound like Bob Dylan, if he’d spent three weeks in Hawaii with Mick Jagger and James Hetfield" or as Nick Hornby would have it, "A post-Partridge Family, pre-L.A. Law Susan Dey kinda thing, but you know…black." Though I am guilty of such practice myself, I think it some times it doesn’t help you understand the sound you can’t hear so much as confuse you, and it's often musicologically inaccurate. However, in the case Pharaohs all I can hear is an unholy blend of The Fall of Troy with the vocals and choruses of any number of ‘indie’ bands coming out of the North-East in the last few years. I’m not necessarily saying this as a negative, it just leapt at out me.

Photosynthesis races through its noticeably short run, only eight tracks at quite a pace. Not one of the songs reaches the four-minute mark. Every track is populated by duelling jagged guitar riffs panned hard left/right with crunchy bass, and ever-so-slightly whiney vocals enforcing the verse-chorus-verse structure of Pop. I’m not meaning to sound so negative but unfortunately the flaws in the songmanship seem to be grabbing me and blinding me to what’s good here.

They are clearly a bunch of talent chaps, who have honed and focused their sound, to a cohesive message and aesthetic and their artwork and videos all match this consistency; that alone is quite and achievement - so many bands’ output is utter scatter-shot, all over the map and disparate. Pharaohs have produced a short album that does not deviate from their core idea come hell or high water - whether the audience would appreciate or not. The riffs are intelligent and interesting, and the rhythm section hold the outfit together well, but it’s just a little uninspiring.

Each song could be any other, some of them do stand out like opener ‘Tubes’ and lead single ‘Photosynthesis’, but not enough to separate them from the mass. This band have potential and talent, and that's not easy to come by, I just wish they’d spent a little more time on this album and then it could have really been something interesting. Watch this space, I guess.

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