# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Flats - Better Living

  by Paul Waller

published: 31 / 3 / 2012

Flats - Better Living
Label: One Little Indian
Format: CD


Intense and brilliant metal punk on debut album from London-based group, Flats

Flats' debut album is the punkest thing to come out of London in years. Taking their musical cues from the likes of Eyehategod, Bongzilla and Weedeater rather than the usual suspects in punk, the band deliver a most unusual record here. The only thing that remains the same from the group's early recordings is Daniel Devine’s snotty vocals. He had warned in previous interviews that they would take this doomy approach but to be honest I never expected this devotion to the down tuned stoner style. It's a brave and brilliant choice. Brave because the likes of 'NME' had already warmed to the band before the musical change. and brilliant because there is no other band out there doing this right now. It’s ridiculously intense listen. The vocals are something else. Imagine if Steve Ignorant from Crass was even more pissed off and you’ll be maybe half way there. The opening cut 'Foxtrot' and closing bomb drop that is 'Mambo' illustrate this sick anger to its fullest extent. Rather than a horror movie what you have here is a snuff film. This is the real deal. You can’t fake this disgust that runs through Devine’s throat. Both songs are the slowest you’ll find on here and work as a perfect set of bookends. Elsewhere the band avoids complexity and sticks to the simple metal & punk principles of pummelling the hell out of simple riffs. Initially I thought this may be the album's downfall by not rewarding the listener after multiple listens, but it turns out to be Flats trump card. Why? Well the riffs are played so ferociously that the likes of 'Shuffle' and 'Tango' always sound vibrant and fresh. It doesn’t matter that my 10 year old nephew could pick up a guitar and learn the song in five minutes flat. As for the ‘guitar solo’ in 'Macabre Unit', well, I have never heard anything like it. It sounds as if guitarist Paul Angeles plugged the guitar into a cranked up cab, put the guitar strap on, lifted it over his shoulder and then well, that’s it. What is not to love. What with the 'Ceremony' LP released last month and Flats hitting now, it sounds to me like 2012 will be a year that the underground got some balls back and made punk, punk again.

Track Listing:-
1 Foxtrot
2 Tango
3 Shuffle
4 Country
5 Frostbite
6 Fast
7 Slam
8 Crucifixion
9 Moonwalk
10 Macabre Unit
11 Buzz
12 Mambo

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