Intertwined with all sorts of twists and turns and interludes and overtures, “Vortex” by PHARM, a brand new 3-piece psych infused, proggressive stoner sludge rock band from Kelowna, is a thick riffed, mesmerising sonic experience that makes it very interesting to imagine where they go from here.
“We’ve got mellotrons, hammond organs, theremins, glockenspiel, all while keeping it delightfully heavy…” – says the band, and they couldn’t be more correct.v Think Mastodon meets Primus meets Rush meets Sabbath, and dive into it below!
To celebrate the release of the album, we sat down with the band’s lyricist and vocalist Lucas Segall and asked him to give us his top 6 tracks that altered the course of his life.
“I was born and raised in Regina. At 18, I moved to Kelowna to get an engineering degree and just managed to stay put out here!” – says Lucas. “Back in 2019, myself and two other scallywags met at a metal show and formed a prog rock band called Pharm. Pharm released its debut album on October 29th, 2022.”
Recorded at ArcHouse Studios in Kelowna, and mastered by Chris Holmes Pharm’s debut album, “VORTEX” is out now via Bandcamp.
Top 6 tracks that altered the course of my life, by Lucas Segall:
“Night Prowler” – AC/DC, Highway to Hell (1979)
I first heard AC/DC when I was 10 years old. Prior to this, let’s just say what I listened to was a lot softer. Hearing their gut-kicking rock pulled me into a new world. Things would never be the same after that.
“2112” – Rush, 2112 (1976)
This song is 20 minutes long. It was written by three dorky Canadian guys. It’s so heavy and complex. It’s a story about a distant planet at a distant time where a man finds a guitar and tries to change a tyrannical and oppressive class of ruling people.
It’s nerdy and awesome and musically brilliant and there was no better time to discover it than when I was a high school dork, sitting in my dorky friend’s parent’s basement. I still listen to this all the time.
“Zoom Club” – Budgie, In for the Kill (1974)
Budgie was this little 3-piece band from Wales that just never got the recognition they deserved.
Their pieces are a perfect blend of heaviness, melody, complexity and fun.
This tune starts out slow, chugging along like an old rusty piece of machinery firing up for the first time in 100 years and once it starts, there’s no stopping it.
“Wynowna’s Big Brown Beaver” – Primus, Tales from the Punchbowl (1995)
When I listen to Primus, it feels like there is some horrible disgusting monster residing in my stomach, making it twist and turn…. and I never want that monster to leave!
Seriously, these guys are so bizarre, funny and stinky with Les Claypool leading the fold on Vocals and Bass. Massive inspiration for my own playing.
“Gumboot Cloggeroo” – Stompin’ Tom Connors, Stompin’ Tom At The Gumboot Cloggeroo (1977)
Curveball time: I LOVE STOMPIN’ TOM CONNORS.
He’s more Canadian than a goose shotgunning a can of maple syrup. Such an incredible songwriter. Let’s raise the flag, crack open a Moose Head lager and salute this absolute legend.
“Orbiting the Vortex” – Pharm, Vortex (2022)
How could this not be one of the tunes to alter my life?! I spent the past few years recording this one and it is the culmination and inspiration from each of the entries that came before on this list.