EP Review – Philoceraptor – Philsoraptor

EP Review – Philoceraptor – Philosoraptor

Released: November 2010

by Jade Sperry


Philoceraptor are a Vancouver trio who make some of the most interesting music in local bands here in the Lower Mainland. The band members are: Justin Penney (guitar and vocals), Phil Jette (drums) and Steve Mann (guitar and vocals). This is the band’s second EP release and it’s a stellar EP that has five songs that were produced, mixed and recorded by Matt Gauthier (who has recently relocated to Southern Ontario). The EP was recorded at two studios in the Lower Mainland – The Track Factory and Ocean Studios. Harris Newman of Grey Market Mastering in Montreal Quebec mastered the EP.

philoThe opening song “Races” has a garage/punk sound with a surfer rock feel to it. It has a good beat and the melody flows really well throughout the entire song. For this writer, this song speaks of becoming “black and blue” which could mean physical bruising from just running and going full tilt, burning out essentially. “Clever Girl” has a fast melody, good time changes and is lyrically about a girl that has captured the attention of one (or more) of the band members (you know that I’ll be seeing you/you’re twice as hot through jealous eyes.). “Gay Boy” is a cheeky song that has some humor in the lyrics. The melody is soft but this song is played hard through the bridge and chorus. Good drumming, vocal work and harmonies. Finding yourself in a gay bar when you aren’t gay and looking for company can be embarrassing. “Menthol Sweet” has a melody that is more radio-friendly than the other songs. Raw and desperate vocals mixed with the drums is always good thing. This song also has a surfer rock feel that is kind of happy (guitar work) and speaks of “never having the time for someone else” because that person has a full life. The final song, “Surfer”, is a song that just makes me want to get up and punk out by dancing in my living room. Lyrically, it speaks of making excuses to be with another person in an intimate encounter that could be a mistake of sorts. The music is choppy, fast and has some good time breaks and changes in the chorus.

All in all, this is another strong showing of Philoceraptor and what they do best – rock out and have fun doing it. You can download the first and second EP’s at the band’s Bandcamp page. They are both a free download but if you can afford to pay a small amount of money, the band would really appreciate it. And you can also find them on their MySpace page for all info and upcoming shows that the band is playing.

4 song EP Review – Philoceraptor

EP cover, courtesy of the band.

EP Review – Philoceraptor

by Jade Sperry

Philoceraptor is composed of Justin Penney on Guitars, Steve Mann on Guitars, and Phil Jette on drums. They wrote “Grammar” about fifteen minutes into their first jam, according to their My Space page (http://www.myspace.com/philoceraptor).

The four songs on this EP are truly diverse, interesting and leave you wanting more.  This trio of young men remind me of a band from Philly called MewithoutYou.  Hard rocking tunes and raw vocals are evident on the first song “Grammar”.   There is fuzzed guitar feedback and hard-hitting drumbeats assaulting your eardrums with a 4 count break lead into the song itself.  The melodies of this song are bridged and with small tempo changes and I really dig this song.  The vocal work by Steve and Justin is strong and steady and the song on whole could easily be on college radio.  “Learjet” is a song that has a bit of a darker side musically speaking as it is mostly in minor notes.  Well mixed this song is a standout of the four as it is a genderless song.  This is becoming more prevalent within our society as a whole, and Philoceraptor capture that within the lyrics of the song.  “It’s Not Me It’s You” is a good song about self-preservation.  Knowing the difference is what this song is about.  Solid guitar work by both Justin and Steve with Phil giving the song a great backbone.  The final song is called “Advanced” which has good tempo changes several times throughout the song as well as solid work by all three members.  Overall, this EP points to a lot of potential by three young musicians.  I am looking forward to hearing more of Philoceraptor in the future.

You can download the EP for FREE from the band’s My Space page:
My Space Band page

Interview with Philoceraptor

Interview with Philoceraptor

by Jade Sperry

Philoceraptor in their rehersal space, photo courtesy of the band.

Philoceraptor are three individuals who have traveled to different parts of Canada for different reasons.  In their own words “there really isn’t anything too exciting about this story; Steve went to school with Justin in Quebec- Justin worked with Phil in Vancouver – Steve moved to Vancouver. Then after several weeks of procrastination we all made it into the studio, and I think we wrote “Grammar” within 15 minutes of our first jam”.  This song is very much like Sonic Youth meeting Tokyo Police Club for a jam.  The spontaneity is evident in this song as well which makes it a live off the floor song.

With such an unusual name, I wondered what were the origin of the band name and why they formed the band.  They mutually responded that “we wanted to form the band because all three of us have written songs and all three of us enjoy cheap beer. Philoceraptor is the child of these two pastimes. As for the name, Phil boasted that he got called Philoceraptor in bed once, but we found out after it was only due to his unusually long toenails.”  Interesting answer.

When they were writing the songs on this four song EP, they found that “vocals and lyrics are shared between Steve and Justin while the music is pretty collaborative. Someone brings in an idea and we just mess around with it until something cohesive is achieved.”  That sounds like fun which is also evident in the songs in general.

The goals the band have set for themselves is realistic and they state that they want to “play shows and write more songs. Get known by more than just our girlfriends (who don’t really seem to like our music).”  Contrary to that the band says that “obstacles are only a problem when you have momentum.”  Very true statement to make as well as honest.

What does this young trio have to say about the current state of the music industry?  Collectively they responded by saying that “I don’t think the state of the music industry really matters. “Making it” is no longer a legitimate goal for a band. There are so many outlets available to indie bands nowadays that you don’t have to rely on the industry, or signing to a label, or whatever in order to make music and perhaps be heard. We just make noise until that noise becomes “music” and that process is more or less satisfying. The possibility of being paid to do this would probably cause me to make some extremely poor decisions, thereby ruining my life.”  This band is impressive in their irony and well as honesty.”

Challenges are experienced by many indie bands these days in regards to getting a paid gig, and when I asked the band what challenges they face in this area they said “how hard is it to find a place to play in Vancouver? We’ll let you know when we start looking. We decided to record an EP prior to actively searching out shows, so we’ll keep you posted when this happens.”  I always find it interesting about young bands just starting out how they answer questions with sarcastic humor.  This makes them interesting to interview via email.

I asked the guys about where they see themselves in two years time and they stated that “hopefully we’re still together, doing a more streamlined version of what we’re doing now.”

Lastly, I asked the band what they would like to people to know about them and they responded by saying that “we’re not serious, but we’re not kidding either. But actually on a serious note, we just want to say Matt Gauthier at the Track Factory (www.thetrackfactory.net) is the man. Made us sound respectable.”

I agree.  This is 4 solid songs and a good beginning for this young trio from Vancouver.  You can find the band at their various sites:

Band website:


Contact the band: