“Damn, fuck, darn, shit, crap, etc.” These are not my words. They are the Urban Dictionaries definition for Flabergast, the Urban Dictionary entry being the first link that comes up when you type Flabergast into a Google search. Most times I am given a little intro material to go on when reviewing albums via a short or sometimes very in depth band bio along with their own thoughts on the album and its genesis and all that fun stuff.
I didn’t get that with Flabergast, all I got is a long list of the lyrics to his songs. Checking out his Facebook page only baffled me more. I know that Flabergast is at least a male likely in his twenties. But I don’t know where he’s from. Is it Brooklyn? I don’t know. Is it Idaho? Who gives a shit? It should be about the music right?
So let’s dive right into that. Being the musical Sherlock Holmes that I am I have deduced that Flabergast via his album The Connection digs that spacey funk and soul vibe, but not in the archaic sense of these genres. Instead he takes a cue from new age experimentalist like Of Montreal, on tracks like the big top circus psych-funk blitz ”Gum” and “I don’t Mind.” Then there’ s the fuzzy rap-funk ditty “Forget (interlude)” which sounds like a totally different band until the scope is brought back on the Wurlitzer heavy “I Don’t Mind” with its Beatles-esque harmonies which later show up prominently on the fuzzy slow rocker “Little One.”
Just when you feel the songs are sounding a bit too much the same Flabergast tosses out some sludgy and fuzzy heavy metal with “Darkness” and then gets funky on the bass and drum assault instrumental “Accept, Relax, and Flow (Interlude)” before returning to earlier form on “Forget.”
In its way The Connection can sound repetitive at times and many of the songs lack the kind of hooks many bands – let’s use Of Montreal again – employ in order to keep listeners coming back. The Connection then may not connect with everyone. It is in many respects a concept album, rather wacky in spots and perhaps goes on a bit too long. It is an album to put on and forget about until its certain nuances begin to distract you from whatever it is you’re doing, and make you say, “hey, this is pretty good.”
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