mick mercer -
FLOWERS IN FLAMES
FLOWERS IN FLAMES
When the press release revealed members of this band had come from previously well known bands within the Akron and Cleveland area I suddenly thought of Jane Aire’s ‘Yankee Wheels’, which is never a bad thing. Similarly this record, for a debut, is strikingly imaginative, colourful, energetic and at times a melodic emetic when things get gritty. The band admits to fusing Gothic, Post-Punk and Psychedelic elements, although the psychedelic side of things mainly revolves around the guitar having a kind rosy feel in place of Goth prickliness, and there being a touch of the rock chickery about Cynthia’s vocals at times, as though channelling a young Stevie Nicks, or de-wracked Janis Joplin. They themselves cannot refute the influence of the Velvets, Bowie, The Cure or Bauhaus, and you can hear many other bands in there too, but the result is very much of their own making, which is no mean achievement. To mash together what they wanted, strain out the grot and leave us with pure, bitter delight is a recipe for intrigue, as you can soon imagine you’ve been listening to these songs for years. Maybe those in Ohio already know of David Chavez, Cynthia Dimitroff, Mary Plazo and John Lee. If not they, and everybody else, really should get acquainted.
‘Introspection’ is a wonderful opener, with stratospheric, nerve jangling guitar and morosely marching bass countered by the graceful and at times feathery vocals, with a richly flowing melodic incline. ‘Shadows And Darkness’ opts for the furiously spindly early Christian Death guitar style and bustling male vocals, but keeps things springily open and involving, ‘Third Wave’ is languid indie buffed and polished by subtle guitar with the nervous ‘Terrify Sin’ running like The Cure channelling Christian Death, in an earthy and occasionally capricious manner.
‘All The Glitter’ is a tough post-punk joust, with ‘Last Days’ dropping right out of Bowie’s nose, all hunky dory. The surprise for me came with ‘Cursed With A Flame’ that had a stark, rolling style reminiscent of Breaking Circus an off kilter indie/post-punk style you rarely hear, vocals almost rhythmically repetitive, guitar struggling like it has a phobia. ‘Vesper’ does an eager freefall punky rocky tumble, and stays treat fun with its wiry guitar grip. Is ‘Golden Town’ a bit Pink Floydy to begin with? I’m not well versed in them enough to say but it’ something old, delivered in a classic style, exuding confidence and obscenely catchy. Reverting back to tense post-punk guile ‘Stare At The Stars’ sees us out with, strangely, their least insistent song but it’s too late by then as you’ve been hugely impressed.
The only thing you can really say by way of criticism is that it could all open out more next time they have something produced, to let the individual elements really shine, but as a whole it’s brilliant.
Just wondering if you got my e-mail from the other day? Would've been from my tf dot ravenshaw at gmail.com account.
I've looked in hotmail - was it there? Nothing so far.
That'd be the one I sent it to.
Basically I was just needing an address to send a CD to.