By Tony Parker
According to the liner notes it's normally pronounced 'Honk', but you can please yourself, beause as a band they play mostly to cows and sheep on Waiheke Island. It's hard to know though what the island's animal population makes of the rather deranged weirdness that is pHonk's musical manifesto. Coming across like a lo-fi Frank Zappa without the jazz/rock licks, pHonk produce a musical mixed bag of rock, reggae, blues and even doo-wop, all laced with dark and sometimes cutting humour. And like Uncle Frank there's a certain flavour to the humour with titles like Big Fella Lump, Septic and Craphouse Blues indicating the lyrical direction most of their work takes. This can however become somewhat tedious and the humour only works effectively on the hilarious Feel The Width ("Just spend two minutes with my friend Old Thruster") and the mock prog rock of Heaven On Earth, an observation of Waiheke life that may not endear pHonk to too many of their fellow islanders. Bad taste then, or infantile toilet humour? Probably neither as the overall impression pHonk give out in the end is of a group of musical satirists with tongues firmly placed in their cheeks.