Though debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do pleased, for personal tastes, it lacked a certain spark to fulfil its obvious potential. It was an encounter though, which certainly ensured its creators Flowers lured strong and lingering attention. Now the UK trio return with successor Everybody’s Dying To Meet You, a rousing slice of noise infused indie pop that enchants as it enthrals; a release rattling the cage of expectations and all overworked pop offerings around it.
Flowers began in 2012 after vocalist Rachel Kenedy met guitarist Sam Ayres through an advert wanting band mates to help create pop songs which were like “early Madonna through a broken tape machine”. From there a romantic and creative union ensued between them, with drummer Jordan Hockley coming in to complete the band’s line-up. With their first batch of tracks refined by Bernard Butler, debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do emerged in 2013 to potent responses and support. It drew keen interest which is surely now set to ignite louder acclaim with Everybody’s Dying To Meet You. Everything about the release, from songwriting and sound to inventive tone has blossomed from its predecessor, emerging an eighties seeded but uniquely current kiss of tenacious indie pop.
Recorded with producer Brian O’Shaughnessey (The Clientele, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine), the album opens with Pull My Arm. A slim jangle of guitar with glimpses of ska revelry makes the first contact, strolling beefy rhythms soon joining it before the lively ethereal tone of Kenedy lays evocatively over the dynamically catchy sounds now in full flow. Thoughts are sparked of bands like Mo-dettes and Girls At Their Best by the track, ripe spices adding to its boisterous charm and rousing adventure.
The great start is followed by the mellower caress of Bitter Pill, though its body is all drama and the vocals awash with warm crystalline harmonies that seem to incite an infectious swing to grab the energy of the song. From lapping ears like gentle but eager waves to a fiery expulsion of sizzling sonic rowdiness and back again in a repeating cycle, ears are richly satisfied before Ego Loss takes over with its similarly low key but vibrant dance. The dark hues of bass make a healthy temper to the celestial strains of Kenedy and the imaginative jangle of Ayres’ guitar, the jabbing beats of Hockley bridging the two with their metronomic yet inventive canter. Like The Darling Buds meets The Raincoats, the track is a persistent captivation.
A Weekend like air drifts across next up All at Once; the song as those before it thick seduction, though all have to bow to the outstanding prowess of Intrusive Thoughts. Again a gentler entrance is the lead to richer and heavier deeds. The song never loses its gentile character though, moving with a Young Marble Giants scented saunter through noisy melodic scenery accompanied by hypnotic rhythms. Kenedy once more is as alluring as the sun in the sultry temptation as the album offers its undoubted pinnacle, though the song is challenged for that stature throughout.
How Do You Do smiles at and grumbles in ears next, its scuzzy proposal an irresistibly magnetic affair matched by the fiercer rock ‘n’ roll of Tammy. Ayres’ guitar is a scorching blaze of resourceful endeavour whilst Hockley again lays anthemic bait down around the, at times, slightly overwhelmed voice of Kenedy. Even with that slight issue, the track is a punk lined pop treat to get a healthy appetite for; a hunger quickly satisfied by another Young Marble Giants like seducing under the name Russian Doll. Its true rock ‘n’ roll colours are soon pushed to the fore of its initial minimalistic presence, the initial thick enjoyment only becoming most lusty as the entwining of both textures from thereon in creates another mighty triumph for the album.
The final pair of songs ensures Everybody’s Dying To Meet You ends on the high it started with and for the main maintained up to their appearance. The balmy yet sonically volatile My Only Friend is first with endearing melodic caresses evolving into bordering on cacophonous jangles for a hearty lure whilst closer Bathroom Sink is a provocative romance with a tempestuous air and intrusive flames to its harmonic elegance. Both tracks spellbind with their individual characters; a success brought to broader fruition by the album as a whole.
The Flowers has come of age with Everybody’s Dying to Meet You, though major uniqueness is still a little down the line. All the same with this thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly magnetic album their current bloom, the threesome has shown themselves to be one of Britain’s brightest and most stimulating indie/pop bands.
Everybody’s Dying To Meet You is released February 12th via Fortuna POP! on CD, vinyl and download.
Pete RingMaster 12/02/2016
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