Flesh Tetris – Wrong Kind of Adults

Photo by Julia Do Om

Self-described as “Retro SciFi Eurotrash armed to the teeth with barbed pop hooks and weaponised synths” or “Pop music for unpopular people”, the Flesh Tetris sound is to pin it down, simply one of a kind. Like an off-kilter dance-floor glitter ball it revolves through bold pop light and flirtatious electronic shadows, drawing the shades and hues of numerous more styles in its virulent adventure. It has already provided a riveting romp within the UK band’s first EP, Insert Coin, and is now in full exhilarating bloom and devilry within their forthcoming debut album, Wrong Kind of Adults.

Flesh Tetris sees the coming together of five unique talents already renowned for their exploits with other bands. It is fronted by duel vocalists in Eva Menon and Andy Heintz who had already seriously had us hooked through the bands Cauldronated and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing respectively. Alongside the pair we find bassist/octaguitarist Andy Duke of Top Buzzer/The Duel/Cauldronated fame, drummer Jez Miller who also plays in The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing and keyboardist/vocalist Karen Bell who has a rather fine touch on the theremin too. Together they have created a sound and release which we cannot exactly describe no matter how we have tried but then again given the chance it does all the talking and persuading with ease.

As album opener For Fun swiftly reveals, it is a sound which is poppy yet rebellious, electronically mischievous but equally alternative rock sharp and all flirtatious temptation to body and imagination. The first track springs from law and order sirens, swinging in on the rhythmic strands of Duke and Miller as synths dance devilishly around them. Hips were swiftly infected, feet a rapid shuffle soon after as ears gripped the vocal uniqueness of Heintz and Menon. The track is untamed rock ‘n’ roll at heart, electro dance in its revelry and a riveting rousing way to kick things off.

Panic Buy follows swiftly revealing its own punk lined rock identity as beats and vocals steer the organic magnetism of the song. Bell’s backing vocals, though she is a must larger part to the band’s vocal prowess throughout the release then mere backing, simply seduced within the track’s own spirited allure; again a five prong creative attack gripping and manipulating. In some ways the song is something akin to a union between The Revillos and Dalek I Love You but distinctly all Flesh Tetris rascality.

Wrong Kind of Adults includes the tracks making up the band’s previous EP, all four being fully re-recorded, and first up is Hardest Part. Swinging in on a dub nurtured electronic saunter the track teases with skittish rhythmic scratching and electronic pulses as Heintz and Menon once more tantalise almost taunt with their combined vocal theatre. Theremin and an enslaving bass meander only escalate the hypnotic call, the song a perpetual simmer with moments of escalation which just enslaves from first breath to the final throbbing lure of Duke’s bass.

A sniff of Mindless Self Indulgence adds even more thrilling flavour to the outstanding Incoming, the outstanding track a schizoid slice of new wave/synth pop fuelled punk ‘n’ roll which easily lured away inhibitions with its predacious swagger and boosted throat borne eagerness with its own web of boisterous vocal variety before Jailbait Sex Pest Infestation offered up its own individual excellence. Apparently a song with an accompanying video which “was sparked by a misheard conversation between a toddler and his mother on the 29 bus” and is literally about a gang of flirty underage cockroaches trying to crash a party cockroaches, the track is an electro funk bred frolic which continues the album’s agility at getting into the bones and leading the body like a puppeteer. Like a musical equivalent to the little known but brilliant cartoon Oggy and The Cockroaches, the track just hit the spot.

Then again so do all as soon proven by Partners in Crime and its Bonnie and Clyde caper against an adult electro bred Scooby Doo musical landscape. Narrated by Heintz’s infectious growl and Menon’s Italian teases as much provocation as seduction, the track goes on the run with a web of imagination and sonic pleasure, Bell’s serenades in between pure delicious fondant on the richly flavoursome treat.

As mentioned the songs already introduced via Insert Coin come completely re-recorded to their benefit, next up Glass Bottom Boat especially flourishing in its keener swing and intrepid twists and turns. The summer of keys exuberantly sparkle against the rocky saunter of Duke’s basslines, their waves and earthy Brighton shore crisply swiped by miller’s catchy swings.

Both Landfill Cindy and Cat Box Journey kept ears and imagination aflame with matching ease, the first sheltering its misdemeanours within an electro punk confrontation as much threat and intimidation as infectious incitement. Its successor spins around a core hook which just had us at its first spiral, another instinctive lure of sonic flirtation matched by the fizzy embrace of synths and an espionage loaded bassline; the last of the two tracks another major best track contender.

The album finishes with the equally irresistible Rabbits, a track which from its opening warm synth coaxing had the body as its plaything with its electro dance and anthemic carousing. In many ways the track epitomises the Flesh Tetris sound though no two songs are really alike and despite are attempts are so much more fascinating and flavoursome let alone unique than our words have suggested.

Getting involved with Wrong Kind of Adults is the only way to truly find out; the album a tonic for the musically curious, a rousing reward for the bold.

Wrong Kind Of Adults is released on CD across all the usual digital platforms on 10th May 2019.

 https://www.facebook.com/fleshtetris/

Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ben Wood & The Bad Ideas – The Reveal

Luxurious in its temptation, haunting in its touch, The Reveal is the new single from Ben Wood & The Bad Ideas. The song is a proposition which tantalises as it seduces, every one of its creative threads uniting in a weave of real magnetism for ear and imagination. We have not every track from the band’s repertoire but we can be confident in suggesting that The Reveal is one of if not THE finest moment from them yet.

Ben Wood started life as a busker and acoustic guitarist in Essex scene. An opportunity to contribute to an X-Ray Spex charity album in the US, Wood and co one of only two British artists involved meant he had to find a band, record a track and get it sent over to the States in just 48 hours. Succeed he did and in 2012 Ben Wood & The Bad Ideas, its name inspired by his doubts over swiftly resolving that scenario, began going on to play Prince Charles’ Garden Party at Clarence House, headline the Yes To Life festival and releasing that compilation track, Obsessed With You as their first single.

Alongside Ben Wood in the band is Andy Duke of Top Buzzer, Cauldronated, and most recently Flesh Tetris fame; the two co-writing the new single. For The Reveal, the pair is also joined by Bruce Thomas from Elvis Costello & The Attractions on bass; a line-up which alone bred instant intrigue for the release with also features Cristabel Christo . It is an anticipation swiftly fed and pleasured by the song, keys and rhythms immediately teasing and wrapping ears respectively. The latter’s atmospherics caress the dark pulsing of Thomas’ bass as a post punk-esque resonance blossoms. Even at this early point there is feeling of The Sound to the song, a hue thickening and enriching its growing prowess and lure. It is a flavouring though which is woven into the track’s uniqueness and increasingly haunting majesty.

Wood’s vocals are just as captivating as every element entangled; the track a web of strands rather than a boiling mass but just as powerful in its emotion, intimation, and craft. From verse to chorus, note to rhythmic enticement, the track is pure captivation and for us simply one of the best tracks heard this year so far.

The Reveal is released on 25th June.

https://www.facebook.com/BenWoodTheBadIdeas   https://twitter.com/benwoodbadideas

Pete RingMaster 19/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Flesh Tetris – Insert Coin EP

Pic Chris Clark

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.

pic by Neil Anderson

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.

https://www.facebook.com/fleshtetris/

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright