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Flipron

Firworks Shoes

(Tiny Dog; US: 5 Nov 2012; UK: 5 Nov 2012)

Too much is too much

If less is sometimes more, than it follows that more, sometimes, is less. Exhibit A for this idea might be Flipron, a British outfit who never heard an overwrought proggy arrangement they didn’t love. There is plenty of invention here, and these songs are far from terrible, but they suffer from an overabundance of orchestration and baroqueness—sometimes there’s just too darn much going on. Queen-like vocal harmonies are piled atop layers of synths and noodly guitars, with the percussion shuffling along merrily underneath; melodies tend to rely on rapidfire delivery of polysyllabic rhymes. The most egregious example of this might be “The Big Red Button Must Never Ever Ever Be Pressed”, but there are plenty of other examples. There are also some good moments: “Big Fat Blackberries” is the best song here, stomping along nicely courtesy of a thumping rhythm and some nifty keyboard work. Aaron Neville’s presence spices up “The Comet Returns” as well. Some listeners will love this record: the production is clean and the performances are spot-on, with humorous vocals to boot. But fatigue sets in about halfway through. Sometimes it’s okay to set the cleverness aside, guys, and just rock out a little bit from the heart.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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7 Feb 2011
This little sampler platter of the three Flipron albums so far piles on the wordplay, often sacrificing songcraft for the sake of a lyrical twist.
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