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Hate Writes Better Than Love

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Album Review

On Hate Writes Better Than Love, the young Indiana band Philpot muscle through full-bore, no-frills, gut-punch rock, full of snarling guitars and singer Kentz Ward's raspy, classic rock howl. This is tough and moody music with clotted walls of guitars that sometimes brings to mind Oasis' young and hungry debut, Definitely Maybe (the Oasis of "Rock 'N' Roll Star"). Philpot have a real knack for the rawer and blunter side of things, such as the skuzzy, down-and-dirty "Mean Mean Mean" and the grand, rolling pummel of "Got It In," which tips into early Soundgarden territory with its edgy bombast. Another highlight is the nasty scrum "Evil Has a Face," with Ward snapping off the words in a jagged whine that more than a little recalls Liam Gallagher himself. And that's the rub with Philpot: their strength is dirty, pugilistic, melodic rock. They slide backward when they aspire into other reaches, such as the awkwardly verbose socio-political statement "This Nation's Sun," which bounces along on a ska-like riff and poses the dusty lyric "Tell me what we're fighting for." The navel-gazing ballad "Fall" also comes off a bit clichéd in a self-consciously "power ballad" manner. But those are minor transgressions in an album full of muscular guitars, strong vocals and the kind of straight-ahead rock attack that has practically become a lost art.


Formed: 2000 in Dugger, IN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The straight-ahead and melodic hard rock band Philpot first started gaining notice in late 2004, when a rousing set in front of some celebrities in a chic New York City night club owned by the members of Velvet Revolver earned them a bit of buzz in the New York City media (including the New York Post and NY Press). This would have been just another night out for an up-and-coming, hip New York City band, but the very young Philpot (some were teens at the time) had come from the rural environs of Dugger,...
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