The right kind of noise can leave etchings of bite marks on your brain and slowly trickle to the outside. These are the kind of song that sweat out of you at 3am when you’ve vowed to sleep or when you need something beyond what you have. The songs fall out of your headphones and into you. It doesn’t matter how you take something in but how you let it out.
I saw Phil/Gross Net this year whilst he was on tour with his other band, Girls Names. Completely different sounds but equally brilliant sounds. Gross Net have this possessive and dark sound that makes you feel as if you’ve gone somewhere you shouldn’t. Like a sordid dark alley in Berlin. If you can’t have fun there, then where can you? The songs on Outstanding Debt are that vicious noise in your head keeping you up at night. But it’s also the one that you can’t help but turn to. The sounds will torment you and instill something inside you. There’s this loudness to the songs that would be overbearing in others, but Phil does it in a way that grabs you passionately by the throat. And my god you don’t want it to ever soften its grip.
Outstanding Debt has the rage of Psychocandy with the underlying feeling of Seventeen Seconds. A rare, raw darkness spills out in each song which leaves you being utterly faithful to the repeat button. I always seem to dive into songs I can listen to on the night bus when all is quite- a little chaos blasting in between my ears. The songs are the result of releases that never saw the light of day, until now. The time is now right for them. The instant fury, the disdain and distance of modern life is felt in every song. This is something I really connected with when I saw Phil perform as Gross Net. There is something in this body of work that HAS to be heard.
Adverts 4 Suicide is probably the one I’m going to call as my favourite, but that could change after several more listens. Like all great records, you notice different things to love about this record with each listen. The pleading in the vocals on How Can I are really gut-wrenching, you really do feel the song in the core of you. There is inner torment in these songs that aren’t for those with weak hearts. Or maybe they are, and will make them tougher. It’s a tough collection of songs to digest if you go deep into it, and I really think that’s the only way to approach them. This isn’t the kind of record you stick on and relax to. It’s the kind that smacks you in the face with solutions and truths.
As someone who really really loves music that’s a bit twisted, messed up and not about how the world is all sunshine and rainbows, Outstanding Debt is one of those releases that explores and expresses every niggling feeling possible. Sometimes music just takes you where you need to go. There’s a wealth of passion in these songs that just steadily blows your mind, and when it’s all over you find yourself crawling back for more. It has you fixated on daily dread, your own demons, lust, despair and everything else that seeps into you. It’s a fascinating listen that grips you every single time.
Writing as a fan, this record delves into everything I look for in music. The atmosphere created in each song is something that isn’t always easy to find. Phil makes it sound so so easy. It’s a stunning collection of songs, and you can buy the limited cassette/stream it here: https://austeritydrive.bandcamp.com/album/outstanding-debt