Philm Harmonic

Any time a member of Slayer is involved with a new project, it's going to attract attention. The member in question is Dave Lombardo, and the project is Philm, where Lombardo is joined by Pancho Tomaselli (ex-War) on bass and vocalist/guitarist Gerry Nestler (Civil Defiance). Lombardo has whittled his kit down to a lean four-piece to record the group's debut, Harmonic, in an attempt to produce a sound that relies less on brute force and more on the subtlety of muscle and the dynamics of limitation. There's no overarching narrative to this record ― each of the songs is a self-contained piece reflecting a different set of influences, like the '60s rock of "Exuberance" or the hardcore and jazz combo of "Way Down." This lack of cohesion isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when combined with the distinctly unfinished feel to the songwriting and the rawness of a live-off-the-floor recording, it comes across as half-baked. The drums are unquestionably positioned as the star and as a result, Harmonic feels much more like a jam session crossed with a vanity project than a genuine album. (Ipecac)