Washington DC is a city famed for its alternative post-punk scene, and Flasher have grown out of that tradition. They sound tightly-wound and close together: three people who know what it means to play and sing together. First released on cassette earlier this year, Flasher’s self-titled EP has now graduated to vinyl. Out on Sister Polygon Records.
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This is like if an improv comedian took requests from the audience and one challenging audience member called out “extremely uptight post-punk band!”. This is what that would be: it sounds so on the money as to reach that sweet spot of self-parody: wiry guitars, a beaming chorus addition of synth, a nonchalant bassline that resists any and all of the urgency, and those typical dejected vocals: in the case of “Tense”, one person humming emotively while another chants robotic spoken word over the top of them.
The genre’s nervous energy comes to life on this record, as the band keep their rigid table-setting in place with wonderfully jagged chord sequences and glorious bit-part riffs -- “Erase Myself” counterbalances these anxious sounds with clear choruses and a cathartic-as-shit chorus. The whole thing feels calibrated in the traditions of post-punk bands who were playing in the definition of tandem, crafting their weirdly wiry music on tracing paper, with “Make Out” attaching its guitar line to its bassline strictly before letting both parts fall apart into a lovely haze of vocal interplay.
Such a trick makes the record feel over before its begun, with these super-serious songs also sounding extremely flash-in-the-pan thanks to their focus on the constant presence of hooks. Really good stuff that won’t give you too much time in which to ponder exactly why it’s making you feel nostalgic.
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