One Night Stands with Out of Tune Instruments in a Room with Blue Wallpaper

Three Sides of a Circle

An erratic, highly idiosyncratic collection of poems read over easy backings — keys, guitar, and basic drum programming, mainly — from the elusive Phlegm, a.k.a. Brad Hamers, with a little help from his friends. Bordering on underground rap styling, Phlegm has an engaging and insistent voice that hammers out the image-heavy poetry, crossing the harsh world of beat with incidental avant gardist ramblings. This kind of thing — poetry read over a repetitive backing — has a tendency to come across as either pretentious or a lame attempt at “communicating in the language of the pop culture.” Phlegm, however, avoids most traps by the sheer force of his delivery and the fact that, while the lyrics are the obvious focal point, the music is pretty decent as well, and actually helps to underline the tension of the words. With 19 tracks stretching over close to 70 minutes, the album possibly outstays its welcome, but Phlegm has in any case made an impressive effort that is sure to drawn the listener into his angst-ridden and confrontational narratives.

Three Sides of a Circle:

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