(Out Now on Superball Music)
IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING but Scottish rockers Flood of Red finally dropped their sophomore LP recently, after a string of hugely successful UK shows that have seen the sextet reinvigorate a swelling fan base. Where excellent ’09 debut Leaving Everything Behind largely passed under the radar, the band attempt to make Throw a more accessible hike through similarly strange and mysterious backwoods.
The mystical guitar hooks and cryptic lyrics are all present and correct, as is Jordan Spier’s derivative vocal that gives listeners a free reference point to Philadelphia Alt-Rockers Circa Survive. Occassionally tedious as that may be, FOR are capable of eerily elusive verses and choruses that ebb and flow like a poison tide. The opening title track builds to a haunting scream from a 60’s hammond intro, while ‘Part Truth/Part Fiction’ despite its consumate execution, dances a little too close to Anthony Green and co; forcing the band to adapt to Spiers’ kindred yearning. The musicianship is clean and uncomplicated, the arrangements expansive and ambitious. But what they lack is real engagement, to drive cuts like ‘Whispers and Choirs’ and ‘Cutting Limes’ beyond sluggish eulogies.
Fuelled by spacey passages, the moderately distorted layers occassionally reflect the vigor of NY’s Moving Mountains, but the whole affair would be helped hugely by some alternative song structures to exume them from the catacombs. Like ‘Lashes’ and six-minute extravaganza ‘Ye Die Ye Die’, that make a bold attempt to jump the fence before the hypnotic concluder ‘White Russian’ builds on deep instrumentation and bone chilling outros to remind us all, there could well be a brighter future ahead.
Throw fits a particular gap in the market and will be lapped up by Circa Survive enthusiasts. But at its peak, it’s a heavily beaten track scaled many times before, which may well be a little too uninviting for the masses to buy into. (6)