Posts Tagged ‘Constant Image’

No automatic alt text available.

Washington D.C. trio Flasher released their debut album Constant Image earlier this year via Domino Records and it made its way into our albums of the year list. “Material” is one of the album’s most infectious, vibrant cuts as Flasher’s ping-ponging, overlapping pop vocals make for possibly the most satisfying vocal tradeoff you’ll hear all year. Bassist Danny Saperstein’s snotty, playful vocal delivery circles around Emma Baker’s snappy drums as guitarist Taylor Mulitz joins Baker for an unparalleled, ethereal shoegaze vocal rapture (“Construct / Interrupt / Material”). The video is a post-modern, late-capitalist deconstruction of Internet culture, and its surreal humor sheds a light on just how pervasive and crazy that culture has become. Twenty seconds in, they purposely freeze the video—spinning onscreen circle, cursor, groans and all—before clicking onto a fake lyric video of the song and resuming the tune. What follows is a series of absurd Internet parodies of the band performing the track—an a cappella version, an instructional dance video, a cringeworthy karaoke version and a behind-the-scenes clip.

They even make a satirical advertisement for socks so high they can’t fall down and a fake conspiracy theory video that accuses the band of having Illuminati ties. It closes with the band being devoured by a devil-like creature—perhaps a reference to the real-life, often ignored ramifications of constant entertainment, connection and sensory overload.

Flasher – “Material” from ‘Constant Image’, out now on Domino Record Co.

Advertisements

No automatic alt text available.

Flasher are a trio who play an amalgamation of joyful, frenetic pop, punk, post-punk and shoegaze. The band released their debut album, Constant Image, this year via Domino Records, and it landed among our list of the best albums of the year. What sets them apart from many of their peers is their knack for writing such immediate pop melodies and their slick production value, which maintains their chugging rock energy and allows their impressively consistent tracklist to shine. Each member contributes vocals—guitarist Taylor Mulitz (formerly of Priests) is playful and self-assured, bassist Danny Saperstein’s vocals are snotty and eccentric and drummer Emma Baker lends gorgeous vocal harmonies

Flasher – “Skim Milk” from ‘Constant Image’, out now on Domino Record Co.

One of two standout Washington D.C. post-punk records released this year, Flasher’s Constant Image is the group’s big-time debut LP; the tight group of friends found themselves a step beyond their DIY roots upon signing to Domino Recordings. They’ve taken full advantage of their access to studio resources here; Constant Image is a sly, smart, fun record that never sounds too slick or overproduced and really shows off the trio’s ability to wind dry, oblique observations about commercial culture around killer pop hooks. Standout tracks like “Pressure,” “Material,” and “Skim Milk” elegantly balance space and tension, elastic bass and minimal yet melodic guitar, and a rhythmic sense of urgency and discomfort with blase vocal delivery. There are clear ‘80s sonic referents here, but this is no indistinguishable pastiche too backwards-facing to sound contemporary; instead, Flasher’s deft work highlights that we’re still dealing with the legacies of the Reagan/Thatcher era in many, many ways.

http://

Flasher has such an 80’s goth post punk kinda style. remind me of The Lords of the New Church. quirky tempo changes and really cool vocal harmonies. great live. a must see.

Flasher-Constant-Image

All three members of Flasher, the great young indie rock band, are lifelong habitués of Washington DC and its environs. They know this landscape. They know Rock Creek Park and summer Fort Reno afternoons and those few spots in the infamous 9:30 Club balcony where you can sit down and still kind of see what’s happening onstage. They are current cogs in the DC machine, restaurant workers who haven’t been able to quit their day jobs even after becoming Arctic Monkeys’ labelmates. (All three of them have worked at Comet Ping Pong, the Northwest eatery where some of the most bizarre undercurrents of DC life recently collided in hallucinatory and violent ways.) If they stay in DC, maybe they’ll never quit their day jobs, no matter how successful their band becomes. They seem to know this. And Constant Image, their full-length debut, feels like an ode to the torpor and inertia of present-day young urban service-industry life. It is an album rife with fatalism, with blank-faced acceptance.

“Go,” the album’s buzzing headrush of an opening track, is all about snorting coke with coworkers after getting done with a long shift — or, at least, that’s what I hear in it. (Flasher’s lyrics are oblique enough that they could imply a lot of different things.) Other moments on the album are full of dazed, intense little epigraphs: “Laughter in this century is a misery afterglow,” “It’s not like I had a reason for leaving you / Thinking I could fix it if it wasn’t for Adderall,” “History, how’d you get so mean? / Who’d you beat?” These aren’t fleshed-out philosophies; they’re the bemused musings of people who have been forced, through economic circumstances, to spend their days working as friendliness machines, who have to work to hang onto their humanity whenever they’re not working to live. Seen from a certain perspective, Constant Image works as a symphony of numbness.

But when you actually listen to the thing, it bursts with life, with purpose. Singer and guitarist Taylor Mulitz used to play bass for Priests, but he’s not Flasher’s frontman. Instead, the band has no leader, and Mulitz and Daniel Saperstein divide up lead-vocal parts like they were splitting tips at the end of the night. Voices overlap, or weave throughout each other. Hooks burst in from every angle. Constant Image is a short album, but its melodies and ideas never stop flying. The songs don’t belong to any clear genre; they’re punk and post-punk and new wave and shoegaze and classic rock all at once. When you’re listening, it’s hard to think about genre dividing lines or societal collapse. Instead, those euphoric synth-smears and sun-dappled guitar lines fill up your entire consciousness and sweep you away.

Not that long ago, Flasher were a punk band — or, at least, a band that came from a cultural context that had something to do with punk. Institutions like Comet Ping Pong, and like the venues that the band came up playing, are the product of a city where people spent years fighting for inclusive all-ages spaces and unbound-by-scene free expression. And yet the band’s (excellent) 2016 debut EP was a raw, nervy post-punk record, a record with traceable antecedents. For Constant Image, though, they’ve pushed themselves away from the sounds that might’ve come naturally. Instead, they decamped for Brooklyn and went to work with producer Nicolas Vernhes, someone who’s put in work with bands like Animal Collective and the War On Drugs. And they’ve come away with all these beautiful sounds, these layered guitar-twinkles and synth-whirrs and bass throbs, their voices piling all over each other in some kind of communal ecstasy.

The songs on Constant Image are just great songs. They’re songs that would get heavy airplay on alt-rock radio in a better world, a world where alt-rock radio still exists in any appreciable way. It’s an album about hopelessness that, in its craft and its spirit, still radiates hope and joy and possibility. It’s one of those albums that feels like it alters my entire brain chemistry every time the next chorus hits, and that’s Constant Image.

I love how this DC band blend Hometown influences like Unrest and Holland with Three O’clock style paisley underground into a brilliant record that goes against the current grain. If this came out 25 years ago it would have been on Teenbeat fer sure!

Constant Image is out 8th June on Domino Recordings