Don’t be deceived by the pretty name and LP cover. Chain of Flowers is the heavy-hitting debut from the Welsh heavy shoegaze rockers of the same name. Guitars swirl around, crashing into a mix of sonic drawl. There’s an urgency and drive to the songs but also some more tender moments within it all. For fans of TOY and Bo Ningen.
Vinyl LP £14.49 ALT22CLE
Clear vinyl repress LP on Alter.
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Poor old our Ian. He’s living on the breadline and it’s all because of shoegaze. With Ride and Slowdive reforming, Swervedriver still going strong all his spare income is spent on going to see them in concert. I’m thinking of setting up a shoegaze food bank for fellow sufferers. Thing, is it’s mot just the nostalgia bands but a host of young whippersnappers trying to take away his cash. The latest are Cardiff’s Chain of Flowers who do a particularly post-punk take on shoe-gaze. In fact at times as on ‘Crisis’ they sound more like The Chameleons than anything else with their flanged guitars and sky scraping melodies. This is a big big sound. It’s shoe gaze for the mountains….a U2 and Big Country influenced take on wall of sound guitars.
They blast through the album at whippersnapper speed with huge choruses. It’s certainly catchy and I’m going to try to sum it up by suggesting it’s a direct cross between Pinkshinyultrablast and Eagulls. There’s a grit and rock and roll energy to them that may scare off a few of Slowdive’s wallflowers but it’s for this very reason that this blitzkrieg lot may appeal to a wideaudience. Dare I say the Mission?….there are hints especially on ‘Colour /Blind’ and despite the wall of guitars all I can see in my head is a massive leather jacket.
8/10 Peter Punker 22nd February 2016
I stumbled across Chain of Flowers' in the early parts of 2015 following recommendation from a friend. I'm told that this LP was a long time coming for many, not so long for myself but even so, most definitely worth the wait from any side. Released through interesting London imprint, ALTER, the band deliver charging yet mindfully structured ethereal post-punk and as good as you'll hear it in modern times. Within their self-titled LP, Chain of Flowers have conjured and tracked an organic take on the then innovative post punk sounds of the early 1980's; slabs of swirling guitars rotate around the pounding rhythm section whilst the luring echoed vocals' drag you up, down and all the way along for 40 odd minutes. Just as you think the record is going to give you a chance to breathe, it will whip the ground from beneath you, only to put it back in a few seconds time, only to take it away again. Unexpected and frantic yet in the most punishingly pleasant way possible, perfectly encapsulating the bands intense live delivery.
This is a great record and a stern sonic mission statement from a young band exploring a played out sound for themselves whilst offering a refreshing take for an old timer like myself who so often ponders what the "post-punk" tag does elude too in this day and age. Whatever comes next will play out to be a true testament to this bands capacity but this is a solid, exciting starting point.
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