I like to think that the only reason that Flails aren’t huge is that nobody can bear the thought of sharing them with anyone else. This West York power trio creates highly educated high-powered art rock that’s a little like radiohead might sound if they had a sense of humour and were undergoing a course of anabolic steroids. Articulate and angular, Flails’ music draws on a widely yet discerningly sourced range of alt-rock influences. Jim Green and Joe Saxton lay down solid yet playful bass and drum parts which are rooted in a classic rock circa Led Zep tradition that’s augmented by sharper moments of post-punk inspiration, whilst frontman Aled Haywood’s flighty, effortlessly acrobatic vocals provide a beguiling foil to his guitar parts which are at times direct and spiky, at times delay-drenched and immersive.
Formed a few years back from the ashes of a slightly-less-incredible-but-still-pretty-good band called, Flails have developed massively from song to song, constantly revealing new and often unexpected strings to their bows. Early efforts such as The West Pole and We Run at Bombs were punchy and angular, from the same stable as West Yorkshire alternative luminaries such as This Et Al and Grammatics, whilst more recent efforts have been at times heavier, at times poppier. New Breed sounds a little like a noise-rock Franz Ferdinand or a post-punk Pulled Apart By Horses, and my personal favourite Osteopath is somehow both classically indie and crushingly dramatic at the same time. I could talk about this band’s music for hours, but it’ll be much more rewarding for you if you just go and listen to it yourself. Each Flails song is a journey through moods and sounds, chilled out vocal swoons, decaying flashes of inspired guitar, emphatic rhythmic onslaughts and gutturally bass-driven meltdowns. It sounds a bit like the end of the world being euphorically embraced. Or like three guys thoroughly enjoying playing with sound and moulding it into blissfully listenable configurations. Either way, Flails are pretty special. Your next chance to see them will be in April.
Explore the sonically exemplary world of Flails here.
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