Phobia – Generation Coward (Willowtip)Wednesday, 7th August 2019
Hard to believe that Phobia has been grinding it out for almost 30 years at this point. With a massive volume of splits and EPs under their belt, Generation Coward also represents the seventh full-length from the band, and proves the band to be just as pissed off and angry as ever. Something that long-time fans probably need no reassurance of.
Always one to pull in some straight-up hardcore and punk influences into their grinding death metal metal mixture, Generation Coward is pointed and direct. 13 tracks that measure up to about 17 minutes is always a tell about what you are going to get, though don’t think it’s all a bunch of mindless noise. “Cynic Bastard” opens things up with some ominous grooving before the speedier stuff kicks in (it’s also the longest track at 2:23 after all), but somehow manages to reel in some melodies into the blasting, growling/rasping/frenetic goodness. In-and-out scorchers like “Bozo of Grind” and “Haters Be Hating When Ya Living Good” reinforce the grind-y aspects with some swift kicks to the curb, while the chunkier and groovier “Condemned to Tell” and “Aspiration Lost” show the band’s ability to restraint just enough to make the tracks feel different without diluting the anger. As some of the tracks, such as “Internet Tough Guy,” “PC Fascist Fuck Off,” and the title of the record imply, there’s a strong meaning to the lyrics (as well as several samples), which points the finger at modern society in ways that many will relate to.
The jaded and snarling grind of Generation Coward may not be a revolutionary call to arms, but it hits all the marks that it needs to, both musically and lyrically. Phobia continue to churn out high quality at a rate that many grind bands can’t compete with.