Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Review: Flash Bastard – 'Wild'


Take some glammed-up pop punk, throw in a little rocky horror and sprinkle with post disco pop and you have the dizzyingly glittery sound of Flash Bastard. The Canadian, now based in Hollywood (of course) duo of Donal Finn and Pete Mills present their second album 'Wild' on Metropolis Records, the follow up to their 2011 début 'Rock 'N' Roll Must Be Destroyed'.

Where their début stuck pretty much to a straight forward blend of Meatloaf meets the New York Dolls with a hint of Motley Crue, 'Wild' expands on their sound with disco and synthpop electronics becoming more prominent in the mix to add an extra dance appeal.

The album is a playful pastiche of the musical excess of the 70s and 80s rolled up in the kind of annoyingly catchy sing-a-long presentation of acts such as Panic At The Disco, Sum 41, and Blink 182. Despite the band having a little more scope than the aforementioned bands, the album does suffer from the same kind of repetitiveness and forays into derivative song-writing that holds back an otherwise interesting idea.

There are a few moments of genuinely inspired song-writing such as the rocky horror flavours of 'Stutter On', 'Fractured', and 'Glitter Forever', as well as the hard rocking 'Frankenstein' proving to be the real stand-outs. Unfortunately though, the majority of the songs just doesn't quite realise their aspirations.

In terms of production it has all the spit and polish you'd come to expect from an act with mainstream success in its eye-line. But with it's overall pop façade and posturing, it just comes off as a bit plastic and disposable.

While there are some interesting flourishes on 'Wild', and some off the wall influences at work, the album as a whole doesn't really work. It undoubtedly will have mass appeal to a large cross-section of the pop punk audience. But it imitates a lot and innovates very little. There is definitely potential for some brilliant song-writing to shine through, but in the case of 'Wild' Flash bastard and all flash and no bang.  

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