“It’s all rock n roll”, Empty Flowers say of their genre of music on their Facebook page. One spin of “Comb Over”, a track from their upcoming record Four, and all you’ll be able to say for yourself is, “No kidding.” With a brooding, palpable energy, “Comb Over” is evidence enough that rock music runs deep in Empty Flowers’s musical DNA.
The group’s rock cred is made even more apparent by the collaborations it did on the remix record The Air You Found, released last year, which features interpretations of the tracks from its previous LP, Five. The remixes were done a a who’s-who of hard rock and metal players, including members of Gorguts, ISIS, and Khanate, among others.
Empty Flowers frontman Christian McKenna goes into detail about the song and the circumstances of its creation with PopMatters, “The song ‘Comb Over’ came together towards the end of us writing the new album, Four. I wrote the majority of the lyrics. Randy (Larson, bassist) threw in a couple of lines too, so I can’t speak for his stuff. I think his parts may include some kind of Twin Peaks reference, though.
“The tune is basically about feeling shame and the monotonous vibes of day-to-day life. Four, without a doubt, was the most difficult record we’ve ever made. I don’t think collectively we were enjoying being around each other and I started to dread the five to six hour drives back and forth from Pennsylvania to Connecticut for rehearsal. Members of the band were either kicked out and/or quit during the recording process. Lots of heavy stuff was going on while we were making it… parents dying, sick loved ones; I was arrested for drug possession.
“The highlight for me was having Rennie Resmini from Starkweather come over to Mick’s (Mullin, guitar) apartment to track vocals. We also had some help from our friend Seth on keys and the mighty Rebecca Mitchell from the band Whore Paint also sang a little.”
Four is out tomorrow, 16 June, via Translation Loss Records.