Mixing of styles always proves to be a tricky operation, especially
if the genres tend to deviate from each other. What I thought
would be an intuitive combination of hardcore and ska turned out
to be a harder nut to crack. Surprisingly, The Flaming Tsunamis
capture more hits than misses with the genre hopping concept.
What really makes it work is the complete abandon of caring,
the band just does it, to do it, not to please anyone; and that
carries it a long way. This album almost borders on experimental
for the risks it takes and the challenges it overcomes. Really
each song would have to be analyzed on an individual basis to
give a truly accurate picture of what this band achieves and goes
for. On the lighter side there are some classic reggae moments
a la The Specials in the almost ballad-y "Weaug, Teaug,
Peaug (The Powder Of Life)", to the more middle mainstream
tongue-in-cheek ska forms of Less Than Jake to the completely
all-out hardcore based throat-wrenching fest found powdered across
the record. What is amazing is that all these distinctive styles,
and more, can be contained within one song.
Like I said, it doesn't work all of the time; there are a couple
of the songs where this affect is abused to the point of it being
annoying, but on the other hand there are some songs here where
the same technique is used to stunningly remarkable ends, making
the album completely worth it. "Bird-Watching And Vice Versa",
"Satan Vs. The United States Of America" and "World
Of Chaos" being among some of the songs that elevate this
record to that next level. It ultimately depends upon the listener
for which end of the spectrum they veer; I tend to favor the ska
Every instrument works overtime to carve out a durable niche
in this ever evolving landscape of an album. Most prominent to
me were the drums for never giving an inch in the harder sections
and always flowing with the music during the non-hardcore bits,
creating a nice uniformity which I directly relate to ease of
listening. Similarly, the vocals change with the moods, vividly
capturing the raw rage intensity and calm lyrical flows presented.
Finally, the saxophones and trombone amaze me as they blend into
almost any genre without seeming out of place and giving the album
that extra something - making it all the more viable.
I still can't help but off-handedly label this as experimental.
Even though the styles exist in a definite universe, the combination
of them, like they are here, delves into completely new terrain.
And though it isn't perfect, it sure comes close.
1) The Ritalin Conspiracy
2) Bird-Watching And Vice Versa
3) Corpse Disposal For Dummies
4) Fear Everything
5) The Great Red Cross Robbery
6) If You Really Love Me
7) The First Rule
8) Satan Vs. The United States Of America
9) World Of Chaos
10) Bennett Brauer
11) Weaug, Teaug, Peaug (The Powder Of Life)
12) Shit Piss Die
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