Phluid - Cynical Smile

If you grew up with 70s punk rock and travelled the path of new wave and now find yourself boxed and constrained by brit pop on one side and radiohead and oasis on the other, then you need this cd, it is your only chance of redemption.

Watch it kick down your walls and free your rock 'n roll soul. Twelve Tracks that bounce and barge along in a manner that will have you singing in the car, playing your guitar when at home and charging around getting pissed when down the pub, this could be the record that puts popularity back into loud bouncy ROCK for the masses. The only way to describe this collection of great up tempo feel good rock music is to describe it as 21st Century New wave.

This is most definitely a rock release, you don't get any chasing band wagons with these guy who are apparently from Leeds. The major influences I get when listening to this is definitely The Wildhearts, but there quite honest about that on the mailout with this send out. There are slight elements of the glam scene of the late 80's something like a lighter slightly less dirty Faster Pussycat as well. I've got to say I prefer the more upbeat tracks the slower ones I can take or leave for example 'Twenty Century Beatnik Baby' is a catchy upbeat rock n roll track, where as 'Strange Beauty' reminds me to much of a track Def Leppard would do. Also on the mailout info it says 'it shows the bands desire to put some balls back into rock music' well I wouldn't say that, I could name 10 million bands with more balls in their music, but at times like on 'Sinner', 'Border Of My Mind' or Pure' they do manage to get some feeling in the music which makes the experience much more appetising. This release by the way was recorded by Pete Brown who has previously recorded 10CC and George Harrison and you can hear the expense ousing out of your stereo.

by Luke Redpath - 13/11/2002

The debut album from UK rockers Phluid is a straightforward, fun, upbeat rock album. A statement that alone, while accurate, fails to do justice to an album full of stand out tracks and a whole range of apparent influences. From the opening track "Sinner" the band never stop giving the impression that they enjoy themselves, and the song writing represents this. The melodic rock, with all it's energy and catchy pop sensibilities immediately brings The Wildhearts to mind but further, more attentive listening reveals hints of other subtle influences.

"Chance Of Rain" hints at a possible albeit subtle Misfits influence, particularly in the vocals. Whilst vocalist Polly doesn't come anywhere near the low, Elvis-like tones of the legendary Glenn Danzig, his laid-back, punk-ish style and use of melody can't help but make me think of many a Misfits song. The opening riff to "Rent Boy" has a distinctly jangly garage-rock sound not far removed from something you might hear from The Hives. Throughout the whole album, the band mix punk, glam and straight-forward Rock 'n' Roll into something wholly unoriginal, but great fun to listen to. To pick out highlight tracks would serve little purpose as every track is solid, but for the record, my personal favourites are "Chance of Rain", "21st Century Beatnik Baby!" and "Rock 'n' Roll Cliché".

Rock 'n' Roll can be easily summed up by the old saying: if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Rock 'n' Roll has always been about having fun and doing whatever the fuck you want. It isn’t meant to be complicated and the worst thing you can do with any album like this is over-analyse it. Cynics and pretentious fools could probably spend a great deal of their time saying how derivative this album is, how it's all been done before and that the band bring nothing new to the plate. Fortunately then, that I am not such a cynic. The band don't bring anything new in particular, indeed, if you are a fan of The Wildhearts or other such bands then this will be all to familiar territory to you. Nevertheless, what the band does bring is twelve tracks of well-written, catchy rock songs that, if rock 'n' roll is your thing, is reason enough to pick up this CD. The album shows that sometimes simple and to the point is best (it's worked for AC/DC for years) and while it's not gonna change the world of music as we know it - to expect it to would be missing the pointcompletely - it does the job, and the result is a highly enjoyable album.

By: Chris Scott

Apparently rock 'n' roll is the new rock 'n' roll. Good news then for Leeds-based five-piece Phluid, who's raucous, hedonistic rock excess will certainly strike a chord with Wildhearts and Almighty fans everywhere.

If tracks like 'Rock 'n' Roll Cliche' and 'Sinner' showcase the band's self-assured swagger then it's the subtle, brooding of 'Strange Beauty' that see Phluid really hitting their stride. With it's sobering vocal delivery building to a gloriously uplifting chorus.

The inclusion of dance beats and the addition of female vocals could also give Phluid that little something extra to set them apart from the pack, which is growing more competitive by the day.

'Cynical Smile' is the debut release from Leeds based quintet Phluid. The album opens with a very basic glam punk tune which appears to offer very little originality.

However things do seem to improve by the second track ('Changes of Rain') as the band begins to sound more modern. The albums stand out track comes in the form of 'Twentieth Century Beatnik Baby' which sees lead vocalist Polly scream "The only lines they ever do go up their nose". However the album offers little variation on Phluid's overall formulaic sound right up until the final track 'Heroine'. 2/5

Written by Mike Bradbury

Punk glam rockers Phluid's debut LP 'Cynical Smile' does exactly what you want it to - plays loud, fast and with it's cross dressing, black-eyed, drug pumped heart on it's sleeve.

Whilst those who have seen the band live may recognise fan favourite tracks like "Pure" and "Heroine", there are several previously unheard tracks such as "No Feelings" and "Borders of My Mind" which show a growing complexity in the song writing and structure. Don't worry though, this is no Kid A, every song grabs you by the throat and keeps it's grip, leaving you gasping for air and reaching for the repeat button once again.

Revelling in outsider chic, the lyrics veer from classic self-depreciation (Strange Beauty, Pure) to sneering put downs of losers (Rock 'n' Roll Cliché), liars (Hey Jon), fakes (Fake, oddly enough) and phoneys (Heroine's savage attack on the poster girl for conformity - Britney Spears). Musically the band take their influences from quite obvious sources, but manage to find a refreshing spin of their own which keeps the band aware from sounding like a tribute. From glam legends Bowie and T-Rex to the Sex Pistols and the Wildhearts the inspiration seeps through the album. However songs like "Fake" and "Chances of Rain" have a very modern edge that reflects a more mainstream sensibility.

One thing Phluid are not short in is a killer chorus - "Sinner", "Strange Beauty" and "Fake" are made for radio, while most other tracks could easily be ear marked as singles. One surprise however is how much they have utilised the studio. Sonically there is much more going on than their live performances usually indicate. Classy guitar hooks and bass fills certainly catch the ear, whilst interesting drum beats and rhythms are thrown into the usually genre mapped 4/4 and prove that behind the glitz and glam are a group of highly talented musicians. The vocals too are top form, with singer Polly cleverly adjusting his style and approach to each track to help offer different flavours to tracks that could have made the album sound repetitive.