My Record Collection - November 1, 2021

My Record Collection by Khemmis' Phil Pendergast
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

My Record Collection by Khemmis' Phil Pendergast

In My Record Collection, we dig down to the bottom of musicians' souls to find out what the most treasured parts of their record collection are. This week, it's the turn of doom metallers Khemmis and their guitarist Phil Pendergast, let's see what he picks out...


The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

"The Ramones self-titled in the sixth grade. To be fair, it was a CD and not an LP, as these weren’t really available at the time. I had just gotten deeply into skateboarding and some kid at the local skatepark had put this on their boombox. It blew my mind after being mostly raised on classic rock, southern rock, and country music! I saved up my lunch money that week and persuaded my parents to take me to the nearest record shop so I could hunt it down."


The record that made me want to be in a band was…

"I need to give two answers here. British Steel by Judas Priest was singularly responsible for my first band in early high school, as we played Priest and Ozzy covers and that was my introduction to heavy metal."

"Funeralopolis by Electric Wizard absolutely melted my feeble brain a couple of years later when I heard it, at least partially because I thought, “Hey, even I can play the guitar like that?” and it opened me up to writing my own riffs and wanting to play really loud."


The record I've played more than any other is…

"Over the course of my life, probably either The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, Dr. John’s Gris-Gris, or Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality. Each of these inhabits a different mood that I have spent a lot of time in. Sticky Fingers has a perfect mix of groove-oriented rock and more mellow tracks that make it a good companion for anything, but especially a night at home with a few friends over and a couple of beers."

"Gris-Gris is a total bad acid trip, and the mix of music like this and other dark, psychedelic, and dreamlike art had a deep impression on my late adolescence and early adulthood, and informs the kind of art that I want to make with Khemmis. That album taps into a very unique, ritualistic darkness that is just the right fit sometimes."

"Master of Reality has been a constant companion through many hard times, late-night parties, and long drives. Those riffs have a primordial magic to them that stand the test of time and inspire both grabbing life by the pint and sulking in your own mind in equal measure."


The record that always makes me feel good is…

"Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny. I know “sad” is right there in the title, but the album is anything but. The second 'Victim of Changes' kicks in, I am ready to scream along, drive fast, and lose a few brain cells. What a way to start an album, especially when no one knew who you were at the time!"


The record I turn to when I'm feeling down is…

"Andrew WK’s You’re Not Alone is probably the most life-affirming album to have come out in a long time, and mixed with its focus on positivity and spoken-word interludes encouraging you to “party with your demons”, it is always sure to pull me out of a funk."

If I’m trying to revel in that darkness instead of casting it aside, however, I’m going to choose The Cure’s Disintegration. I have a very romantic attachment to that record from listening to it in times of sadness throughout my life, and it can be really therapeutic to hear it when I need a shoulder to cry on."


The record I think is the most underrated of all time is…

"What kind of question is that? There are so many, and how do you even define underrated? Obviously, that rules out Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Bob Dylan, and the like, but I don’t know if widely-respected artists like Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell, who don’t receive quite as much commercial attention these days, really count."

"I’ll go out on a limb and draw the line at a band like Talk Talk, whose last two albums Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock are hidden gems, hugely influential, and some of the most beautiful art ever made, despite probably being unfamiliar to your average music fan. If you haven’t heard those albums, they are truly amazing, evocative works."


The record with my favourite cover art is…

"Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. I just love Mati Klarwein’s art on that and Live Evil. You can stare at those LP jackets forever and achieve a better understanding of the music in doing so. Shoutout to the Roger Dean and Frank Frazetta pieces on the Yes and Molly Hatchet albums as well. Khemmis is really inspired by this tradition of album art."


The record with my favourite title is…

"I honestly don’t know with this one. The Knife’s Silent Shout comes to mind, though. That is another underrated album right there. I love anything that gets at the nature of duality in human existence, and Silent Shout is both such an oxymoron and a relatable concept to anyone who has had to bury their emotions or put up with something horrible way past the point where it is still bearable. That one is simple, memorable, evocative, and brilliant."


The record I can't understand why everybody loves is…

"Frank Ocean’s Blonde. This album was universally praised a few years ago when it came out, and I have tried several times to get into it, but I just don’t get a lot out of it. I love his previous album Channel Orange, but pretty much nothing that makes that record so special to me shows up on Blonde. The vocal processing saps too much of the emotion from Frank’s voice, the songs just aren’t memorable, and the experiments don’t really land for me."

"Because no one should care what a white dude like me has to say about a universally acclaimed R&B album, I’ll also say I think the Eagles suck and have to be the most overrated band of all time."


The last record I bought was…

"I bought both the new Low album Hey What and Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders’ collaboration record Promises at the same time a couple of weeks ago. Both came out this year and have been on repeat for me. The packaging on the Pharaoh Sanders LP, in particular, is phenomenal. That record is sure to become a classic in spiritual jazz."


The record I'm most looking forward to hearing in 2021/2022 is…

"New Judas Priest! Firepower was much better than it had any right to be, and it sounds like the boys are back at it with the same creative team. Andy Sneap killed it with the production on that album and had Priest sounding better than ever. Hopefully, we get to hear something new from that partnership soon."


The greatest record of all time is…

"Ooof. These questions are impossible! At a certain point, there are just a group of albums that are equally perfect and reflect different moods and aspects of the human experience, which I can’t really place above each other. But I’ll try. Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. In my mind, Miles was the most peerless musical visionary of the 20th century; someone who blazed new trails in several genres over an incredibly long, consistent, and restless career. He totally conquered everything from Latin and orchestral music (Sketches of Spain), to rock (A Tribute to Jack Johnson), to funk (On the Corner), and obviously various styles of jazz."

"To me, Kind of Blue is his definitive statement in his most familiar genre, a record that approaches spiritual transcendence and a deep understanding and expression of the human condition in the way that only the greatest art can. In a Silent Way is a more adventurous record that reaches many of these same pinnacles, and there might be times I prefer it, but Kind of Blue’s quiet confidence is just so classy, masterful, and universally relatable that it has to take the crown."


Khemmis’s new record Deceiver will be released on 19th November. You can pre-order it here in hmv's online store. 

Deceiver Khemmis

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