We have all come across and been excited by the prospects of Super Groups; adventures bred from the union of various members of renowned and occasionally legendary bands. Sometimes it leads to new pleasure sometimes disappointment. In the far busier landscape of the musical ‘underground’ such fusions of talent are as prevalent and very often much more thrilling as in the mouth-watering case of UK outfit, Flesh Tetris.
The London quintet makes their introduction to the world with debut EP Insert Coin in May; a collection of songs which with the ease of the summer sun has the spirit rising, body dancing, and juices flowing. To be honest our imagination and excitement had their running shoes on even before a note of their first release was heard; racing away just from the names behind this new proposal. Flesh Tetris sees the coming together of members from four of our indelibly favourite bands and, to us, new musicians just as easily grabbing ears and appetite. First there is long-time friend of The RR, guitarist/bassist Andy Duke of Top Buzzer, Cauldronated, The Duel and a clutch of other projects fame. Then there is the inimitable presence and vocal prowess of vocalist Eva Menon also from Cauldronated as well as the distinct creative mischief and character of vocalist Andy Heintz from The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing who has already released one of the year’s essential gems in the shape of the album Double Negative. Alongside the three is Karen Bell who quickly reveals herself as one mighty ear lure with keys, voice, and theremin on the EP and drummer Jez Miller, who lays down inescapable bait with his manipulative swings.
It is a line-up which quickly turned an instinctive interest because of their other adventures into lusty attention and an eager appetite for their sound. Described as “Retro SciFi Eurotrash”, Flesh Tetris weave a kaleidoscope of styles and flavours in their music, embracing everything from punk and its electro form, to pop and rock, techno, industrial and much more. It makes for something fresh, virulently infectious and imaginatively gripping eager to throw the body and imagination around like a puppet through its animated antics.
Insert Coin opens up with Rabbits, keys initially hugging, inciting, and worming under the skin with lively rhythms for company before Heintz and Menon add their vocal character. The pair have two of the most distinctive voices and unique deliveries in music which alone just stir the passions but together…well it is as if they were born to be alongside each other at some point such their magnetic union. Swiftly the song had the body bouncing and vocal chords employed, its electro dance a viral infection to feet and hips as the cosmic enterprise of Bell and the hypnotic escapades of Duke and Miller romp. With more chance of there being parity across society than escaping the creative fingering of the song, Insert Coin is off to a flyer and only builds from there.
Next up Partners in Crime instantly looms up with intrigue and adventure, like an adult electro bred Scooby Doo adventure with defiant threat and noir kissed romance at its heart. The great grizzled tones of Heintz and the equally alluring European lilted suggestion of Menon take ears and thoughts on the run, sound providing scenic temptation before the seriously magnetic tones of Bell serenade from the midst of the caper. Few bands have one great vocalist, to have three feels greedy and just another reason to explore Flesh Tetris. The track is superb, managing to even eclipse its outstanding predecessor before The Hardest Part swings in with its dub nurtured electronics and rhythmic intimation. Duke has hips swerving with a gentle but keen hunger whilst the controlled skittishness of Miller’s beats is an additional glorious itch to movement. Within this magnetic landscape vocals prowl and roar stirring up even greater greed and lust for a track which simmers before it boils compared to the more instant explosions of those before it but sizzles to the same heights all the same.
The EP closes up with Glass Bottom Boat, a seaside ode starting with a poetic casting regaling the romantic days of old Brighton. As waves lap a delicious hook springs its bait, a potent lure which you would surmise could only come from the imagination of Duke such its individuality. With Bell’s keys flirting alongside, the slice of smiling rock ‘n’ roll quickly has body and participation rocking; nostalgic pop nurtured harmonics adding to the song’s grin. Imagine a fusion of The Revillos, Chicks On Speed, and The Dreadnoughts and you get a whiff though nothing more of the great EP finale.
Flesh Tetris describe their music as “pop music for unpopular people” and if this is what ‘hate’ inspires we for one quite content to be among the disliked at the kind of thrilling party where you Insert Coin and salaciously enjoy.
The Insert Coin EP is released 26th May across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018
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