Flood Of Red - Leaving Everything Behind
- Artist: Flood Of Red
- Album: Leaving Everything Behind
- Year of Release: 2009
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: dadair on 2009-10-06
Just when you think the debate about music distribution and downloading couldn't get any cloudier. Thoughtful Scottish upstarts, Flood Of Red elects to shun the standard £9.99 in HMV and Amazon format for the release of their debut album. Choosing a path usually only trodden by the likes of Muse and Radiohead etc, by offering a variety of bundles spanning digital downloads, merchandise and exclusive tracks.
In order to wet appetites for this foraging debut album, some tracks are available as free downloads. The freshness in approach by Flood Of Red extends from marketing of the music to the delivery of it. Here is a track-b-y-track run through of the album, so you can see if you are getting value for money? Whatever way you decide to buy it or however much you pay for it?
1. The Edge Of The World (Prelude); Acts as a beacon for those seeking reflection. Racing guitar-led instrumentals and a loitering, evocative vocal display from singer Jordan Spiers, prepares you for the life delving that will no doubt follow. Even in a sub-two minute intro', Scotland's Flood Of Red don't scrimp on thought or mood building.
2. The Harmony; Full blooded, emo underpinning whine rock glides over the steady percussion boom of the adroit Graham Griffiths. A battle takes place between cathartic rhythm and self pitying lyrical projection. And, the latter element just about wins, but it's a captivating struggle.
3. A Place Before The End; Slow bruising honesty is built in by a slow guitar slide and low key, yet haunting vocals build up chillingly to a cruising, pleading chorus. In a similar vein to the way Thursday ply their trade. Griffiths punctuates the vocals with a steady drill, levelling your mind before the panicky, well delivered chorus;
"Do you think we can make it out? Do you think that we will somehow? Woo oohh
It's so hard moving on."
The true life summarising is made all the more authentic because a trace of Spiers' natural accent flows out in the heart pouring chorus.
4. Like Elephants; This is the album's equivalent to a pep talk, delivered with low-key rhythm, mild heart and oodles of sincerity. An eerie key-led interlude underlines the thoughtfulness and gives the heart-on-sleeve nature of the song crafting an extra strand.
5. The Heartless And Loving; Possessing a title that John Donne would have been proud of, the melancholy arguably has a greater impact for the slow stirring, churning accompaniment and stern vocal stance. Matching Brand New stirring tug for stirring tug.
6. Little Lovers; A potential radio favourite that every debut album needs as much as Britian's Got Talent needs a Susan Boyle. Catchy builds ups, breath gaining guitar twining interludes and an energy spurt, gives robustness and bite all round, but most noticeably to the chorus. However, it is the climbing, percussion and key combo that gives the latter part of this anthem elect, enough mystery to capture attention. Aiding the profile of the amplified vocals, representing a battle cry for insomniacs the world over.
7. Paper Lungs; Graham Griffiths controls this track with his pelting percussion drives and rumbling all round rhythm control. It is a drummer's song and Spiers' is forced to raise his profile. In order to communicate the feelings of suffocation that are being projected.
8. Electricity; Bleak poetic reflection is given poignancy and sincerity by Spiers. A lingering low-key guitar fuzz and sparse clattered percussion is used to help to convey feelings of dejection;
"Electricity doesn't flow in me and, I don't think that I will wake up."
9. I Will Not Change; Immediately a hypnotic, melodious guitar sliding high point takes hold, as the vocals take on a more energetic push, giving life to the dejection. It is inextricably linked to the above track, using the same lyrical hook. However, it instils a more positively defiant energy spurt, the sort of which that douses many a rock anthem.
It is a song of contrast, acting like a Mad Hatter's tea party between energy and dejection. All you feel like doing is grabbing a cuppa and joining in!
10. I am The Speechless; This is the most American Alt. rock that Flood of Red's sound gets, matching the moody bite and slow stirring build ups of Chiodos. It also represents bassist Jamie McGowan's most high profile, ardent contribution. Providing for a captivating robust kick.
11. Losing All Balance In Fells Point; It's time for that brooding, booming percussion kicked alt. ballad, displaying insecurity and a warming melody touch. The lyrics speak of a feeling of empathy with their potential younger fan-base, or in general people who don't feel that they belong anywhere.
12. Hope Street; Certainly nothing like a Levellers cover, you may or may not be pleased to learn? It continues the emo skirting trend and the stop-start nature of this genre is well utilised.
13. Home, Run (1997); An appeal broadening previous single that uses a steady combination of rhythm, heart and whirling guitar chutzpah. It is a captivating forlorn lament that will help these austere Airdrie alt. protagonists draw their net even wider and be able to afford salmon sandwiches on future tours, as opposed to their standard cheese ones.
14. The Edge Of The World; Spiers vocals rightly take centre stage as they sign off the album with a churning, well built mini-epic. Exploring moods through evocative echoing vocals and grinding bass licks to wretch out desperation yet retain dignity. It underlines the explorative aspect of Flood Of Red's make up and shows that right until the end, integrity and heart remains important to them.
This is a well structured debut album and, in order to be able to fully appreciate the range on offer. It is an album that should be listened to from start to finish, it is not one for the old iPod shuffle treatment.
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