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The White Liars – Pharmacia 
By Zane Ewton

The White Liars lay down a straightforward and formulaic brand of music with their album, Pharmacia.  This album falls comfortably in the genre of stoner rock.  
Fuzzed out guitars dominate the first half of the album.  Barry Stevenson and Ben Maddux blend their guitars together to create a wall of sound that guides the songs and comforts leads and solos that are scattered throughout songs.  Particularly on songs like “Pack Yer s***” and “Splitting atoms” in which the guitars drone in harmony.

Unfortunately the emphasis on guitars is left without any memorable parts.  Much of Pharmacia blends together.  It is the final two tracks that stand out above the others.  “Jason” is a very mellow piano line over the noise of a needle scratching a record.  “GMT” contains a simple vocal harmony over acoustic guitars.

The vocals, also done by Stevenson, lack any real style or substance.  He approaches each song the same, because essentially each song is the same.

Pharmacia wouldn’t be a great party album, nor is it the kind that would prompt a listener to retreat into their headphones for the full sonic experience.  It is just paint by numbers rock and roll.


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