Flesh World is another band to ride the current trend of "let's
pick a band name that reviewers will be hesitant to Google while at
work". I'm not certain that the phrase "flesh world" would be
frowned upon by Corporate IT Security, but i can also see that it
would be a good name for a pornography site. So, best to wait until
i am not at work to look up anything about this band, which to be
honest is a little bit of a hassle.
And i when i do look online i discover that there are three bands
with this same name: one in France, one in Poland, and one in San
Although i am curious as to the French bands excellently titled
Reptilian Sisterhood LP, it
is the bay area band that made The Wild Animals In My
Life, which is the ostensible subject of this review.
So, Flesh World, in this case at least, is a 4-piece post-punk
band from San Francisco. If you like that old, dark, post-punk sound
with crisp guitars, moody beats, and dispassionate vocals then this
is for you. This quartet actually does a great job with that old
1980s sound. I grew up with this stuff, and i really like what Flesh
World are doing.
The record starts off with guitars grinding in To Lose Me.
Vocalist Jess Scott's voice is echoed all to hell and back and the
song grinds along under the weight of a lot of distortion, the
guitars a fuzzy haze and the rhythm sort of implied by the flow in
the overall distortion and the steady click of a hi-hat. Intense.
On Just To Tear Me Down Jess Scott and her co-guitarist
Scott Moore chime along, channeling the work of Felt, something i am
determined to track down wherever it hides.
The title track has a catchy, swaying beat, but it is here that
the vocals seem their oddest. That is, Scott sings in a sort of
clipped way, the words clear yet the sounds slightly off. To be
honest, it reminds me of that German new wave stuff that surfaced
every once in a while in the 1980s -- it sounds like Scott is
singing through an accent. Maybe she is German -- nothing i can
find online confirms or denies that. Either way, it is just a little
odd, but perfectly in keeping with the genre. The song itself is
pretty nice and catchy.
Shaved Head has a really steady droning beat that drives
along as a guitar picks a fun little melody and Scott sings, bored,
in the background. Poolside Boys is a great tune. The
drumming is a steady flat tapping and the guitars whirr up from
simmer to parboil as Scott's voice wails away. This is a feverish
song, delirium taking you on a whirring dance, and after all post-
punk was all about the dance.
It's back to the breakneck pace for Strawberry Bomber, a
lo fi sort of old punk tune, just all forward thrusted rhythm and
distorted guitars. Her accent shows up here again. Her voice is
also really odd on Your Love Is Like A House, where "like" is
drawn out to "l-AIII-ke" with a different vowel sound. This is a
decent song with the drums all over the place.
And finally the record ends with Here In The Dark which,
at over 6 minutes, is an opus for this band. The song starts as a
catchy little thing, the guitar playing a happy riff and a fun
little drum beat, but it builds in intensity until the guitars are
grinding furiously and the drums beating out an angry thud. The
record ends with a good, old-fashioned post-punk noise freakout.
I am impressed and think that fans of New Wave and Post-Punk will
want to track this down. Quality stuff.