S/T by Flowers of Evil
Favorite Track: “Pillage and Plunder”
For people who discovered the Sex Pistols, the Circle Jerks, the Germs, Minor Threat, and so many other ruthless, high-energy punk bands during their formative years, there will always be a yearning to find new music that scratches the rebel itch. With their self-titled full album debut, Flowers of Evil fill the niche for people who want to hear new music that was popular over thirty years ago. Much like Keith Morris’ new venture into the old school with OFF!, Flowers of Evil delivers bursts of self-righteous fury in two and a half minutes or less. This is the music of skateboards, graffiti, and running from the cops, and while it may not be for everyone, it certainly achieves its intentions.
Perhaps what is most interesting about FLOWERS OF EVIL is how much of a massive departure it is from other music they have released in the past. Even as recently as earlier this year, with their release of THE NAME OF THE DEVIL., they were experimenting more in the space of stoner metal populated by Melvins and Electric Wizard. It’s music that was made more reconcilable by the fact that Flowers of Evil is made up of members of A Place to Bury Strangers and the Crocodiles. It was music that was more directly angry than the music by either of those respective bands, but more focused on lengthy instrumentation that brings to mind both parent bands. FLOWERS OF EVIL has no illusions about musicality; all twelve tracks are staccato blasts of noise that barely have time to work in ear-splitting guitar solos. This is a record about giving a quick and emphatic middle finger to all the powers that be, and in the social and political turmoil of 2015, it feels like a timely detour for all the musicians involved. At the same time, thankfully, the record does not feel like a regurgitation of the Germs or the Circle Jerks, there’s a specific unwieldy fury to each of the tracks that gives them a sound of their own.
For people who never quite connected with first-wave of late 70s/early 80s punk, FLOWERS OF EVIL will most likely feel repetitive and unoriginal, complaints that are probably valid. But Flowers of Evil manages to so effectively capture the balls-to-the-walls fuck you joy of classic punk rock, it’s really difficult to not have a lot of fun with this record. So, get ripped on 40s, run around the circle pit, piss off your parents, and just enjoy FLOWERS OF EVIL; there’s not a lot of music like it anymore.