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.

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Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

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