New York-based rockers The Phoenix Within have honed an engaging rock sound that they describe as “raw, honest and poignant music.”
The band is fronted by singer/songwriter Omar Feliciano, who founded the band in 2012 and released a debut album in 2013 before the band collapsed the following year. Undeterred, he brought on board the three Narlis brothers of guitarist John, bassist Nicholas and drummer James in 2018 and began honing the band’s anthemic rock approach.
Our latest taste of this is new single Lacking, which was released two weeks ago. It opens up with a lively guitar lick and drums that drop into engaging vocals supported by palm-muted guitars. It builds in intensity and flows into a big singalong chorus of “I’m willing to march right through this hell, No-one’s gonna take this from me.”
A second chorus drops into fun stabbing guitars and pounding drums, which continue under a darting high-pitched guitar that flows into a final blast of the chorus.
On the track, Omar told us: “We love nothing more than being able to release new music and are pumped to share this next track with everyone. Lacking was written to be an anthem for underdogs everywhere and anywhere. In this particular case, the underdog is an artist. The song touches on factual aspects which most struggling artists lack and must sometimes endure. Such as lacking monetary funds, lacking support from fake friends and record labels, and of course having to face the fact that most people expect you to give up and fail eventually.
“The song becomes a hopeful anthem when the chorus hits and clearly states ‘I’m willing to march right through this hell.’ In other words, you’ll have to take the bad with the good while continuing to put in the work in your art and music. The whole time believing in yourself, learning new things, and working hard because in the end your work, music, and art will speak for itself.” Check it out in the video below:
That’s the latest in a flurry of singles the band have released over the last couple of years. The most recent before it was the excellent Remake, which starts with a heavy blast of guitars then a building verse supported by chugging guitars and flowing into an engaging chorus. A second chorus drops into light instrumentals joined by vocals that increase in intensity with a stabbing riff, then drawn-out backing vocals support a final atmospheric, powerful chorus. Check it out in the video below:
Prior to that they released Pessimist, which starts out slowly with light instrumentals and vocals but bursts into a huge smash of chugging guitars under high-pitched vocals. That gives way to a cool spinning riff under engaging, more powerful vocals, then another cool spinning riff supported by heavy guitar chords.
A second chorus winds down into a drawn-out guitar noise and slow rolling drums, which drop oout as a building guitar noise drops into a booming bouncy riff under huge screams of “Just open your eyes.” The delicious riff continues alongside cries of “I have given everything,” which drop into light instrumentals before heavy guitars usher in a cool guitar solo to bring it to a close. Check out this great track in the video here:
The Phoenix Within draw influence from a wide range of musical interests. Omar tells us was influenced by the likes of Eminem, Third Eye Blind, Blink-182, The Killers, Creed, Coheed & Cambria – which is interesting as there’s a real Coheed vibe about their sound – while for Nick it was bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Audioslave and Tool. John is more into the heavier side of things with bands like Megadeth, Led Zeppelin, Lamb of God, Periphery, Gojira, and Avenged Sevenfold, while James has been unfortunately labelled a massive Nickelback fan (as he wasn’t around to provide Omar with an answer).
While on what inspires them to write music, Omar explains: “I’m influenced by life in general, the ups, the downs, current events, dreams, fantasies, the weather and of course interactions and conversations with people. I try to never force anything into the music or lyrics. It should always feel comfortable and natural.
“I do enjoy having multiple themes to talk, sing and write about. The Phoenix Within has recorded and released songs that talk about; love, hate, proposal/wedding, divorce, cheating, drug addiction, suicide awareness, mental health, social media, child abuse, spousal abuse, authenticity in the arts and daddy issues.”
There’s plenty more to come from The Phoenix Within, including a few gigs next month beginning atr Arlene’s Grocery in New York on 2 September alongside another band we previously featured All In Due Time. More info on gigs is here.
And as Omar adds: “Please give our music a chance and a listen. If you dig it, share or follow us across our social media platforms. Every little bit of support helps us break new records. Lastly, please hit us up whenever you want we are quick with the reply and love to give fans cool stuff.”