Damned if this isn’t one of the best releases of the last few years out of Sydney and its by an all but unknown band. Saying Phringe Dwellers have a low live profile is like labelling Motorhead as a bunch of guys who played moderately loud. Paradoxically, this EP from the blues rock trio sounds like it was forged in the furnaces of a thousand suburban beer barns.
Of course its members are no strangers to live stages. Bassist-vocalist-harmonica player Carl Ekman and guitarist John South were members of The Hunchbacks in the ‘90s and King Felix in the ‘00s with four albums between them. Expat Melbournite and drummer, Simon Li, is a singer-songwriter who used to keep time for World Punk exponents The Balkan Grill.
Don't feel sorry for the fact that, at the time of writing, only five people “liked” Fringe Dwellers on Facebook. It’s just that the music of this veteran Sydney trio is much better than their online self-promotion.
They’ve only been around a few months and this three-track CD single is Phringe Dwellers’ first foray into “product”, but it indicates that there could be enough in the kit bag to stretch to a worthwhile album. The songs hark back, relentlessly, to inner-Sydney circa the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and that’s where the band’s spiritual roots lie.
Guitarist-vocalist John South and bassist Carl Edman were members of formidable blues-rockers The Hunchbacks back then, while drummer (and past I-94 Bar scribe) Simon Li is an expatriate Melbourneite who was brought up on a diet of the Powder Monkeys. While the music never reaches those intensity levels, it does hit hit its own mark.