This is a review of "Release" recorded by Phluid. The review was written by Rob Paul Chapman in 2004.
Question: How do you solve the problem of getting that difficult 2nd album right?
Answer: Release half an album! Genius.
It's well documented that following surprise success of a first album, bands often let themselves down by rushing a follow up composed largely on the road with the odd nugget, but with considerable amounts of mediocrity. Not so Selby-based glam-punks Phluid, who have turned in this small, but perfectly formed 6 track mini-album entirely devoid of 'filler' which, if there is any justice in the world, should elevate them further up rock 'n' roll food chain. Sure, short of calling this CD “CD” you couldn't get much less imaginative than calling your next release “Release", but thankfully this is where the lack of imagination ends as this is without doubt their most creative, expansive and mature work to date. The remarkably catchy punk-pop of lead track L.O.V.E.D. U.P. has you harking back to the glory days of The Wildhearts with a smattering of Buzzcocks in there too, whilst the uncompromising American Jihad shows that the band aren’t afraid to mix in a bit of politics, even if in fairness this is hardly uncharted territory.
However, the strength here (as many a hackneyed football manager will tell you) is in the depth. Phluid demonstrate that they can turn their hand to a number of variations whilst still staying true to a theme and this recording manages to be uplifting, entertaining, emotive, moving, uproarious, thoughtful, inspiring and engaging, often all at once. It's not perfect, the rock-a-billy middle 8 in the otherwise flawless Cruci-fiction doesn't really work, but this is a minor quibble in the wider picture. Release is a fine, err, release and should finally give Phluid the mainstream attention that they deserve.