We left checking out last year’s debut album from UK outfit Flesh Tetris by declaring it “a tonic for the musically curious, a rousing reward for the bold.” It was an adventure with the band’s unique sound and creative devilry which offered a big boisterous treat for all dipping into their enthralling world. High Score is the band’s new EP, a trio of tracks which exploits the ripe mischief and temptation at play within that full-length, Wrong Kind of Adults, and soaks it with a fresh dose of enterprise and flavouring demanding attention.
Once more the ingredients to the Flash Tetris sound are as potent and captivating individually as they are united. The double vocal dynamics of Eva Menon (Cauldronated) and Andy Heintz (The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing) are a fusion of tease and attitude, a mix echoing their lyrical revelry while the tapestries of hook loaded melodic and electro enterprise woven by bassist/guitarist Andy Duke (Top Buzzer/The Duel/Cauldronated) and keyboardist/vocalist Karen Bell provide the springboard for lost inhibitions. It is an incitement for body and imagination driven by the manipulative rhythms of drummer Jez Miller (The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing), the quartet a creative devil which as we have found before quickly had us dancing to its tune within High Score.
Though their inimitable fusion of electro rock, punk, and alt pop stands well aside of anything else there is a certain Rezillos-esque character to Flesh Tetris especially suggested by their new EP. Their sounds are wide apart but the hook swinging contagion they conjure and the massive grin carrying mischief they spring in enterprise and fun has a close connection to Scotland’s legends.
High Score opens up with A.I. and immediately has vocal chords indulged through the song’s own call before leaping into its infection loaded stroll. Heintz and Menon entangle their individual antics with that ever present devilment to the fore, their united rousing of ears joined by Bell’s equally bewitching tones. Unsurprisingly to Flash Tetris fans, things only twist and warp as the track evolves, Bell’s theremin prowess as magnetic as the unpredictable throes of the song on its way to erupting in a virulent contagion of a chorus.
Already a new richness in sound and writing is evident, the song a fully rounded encounter with all the creative fiction and daring rascality we have come to expect from their music. The following Schadenfreude is a potent echo of the fact, its body a swinging pop rock holler built on wiry grooves, melodic trickery and across the band vocal fertility. As Miller’s beats wield their air puncturing dexterity Bell’s keys weave a radiance which envelops the passions as much as the sonic agility of Duke.
Three In A Cubicle concludes the romp, the track sauntering with an imperious groove as the band observe or recall “seedy goings on in a nightclub lavatory.” Even in its relatively controlled gait there is a feral quality to the song with aligns perfectly with its melodic dexterity and inescapable catchiness. There is also a great seventies power pop scent to its buoyant breath which got under the skin as easily as the song’s many other infectious aspects.
Infection is indeed the most apt way to describe Flesh Tetris’ music, one we hope to never shake off though with releases like the delicious High Score that is not going to happen any time soon.
The High Score EP has its launch on February 15th at The Dublin Castle, Camden.
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Pete RingMaster 05/02/2020
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