Jedd (vocals/guitar/bass) and Alex (drums/percussion) are the duo behind FLAK. Over more than a six-month period they worked on their self-titled EP FLAK, which contains four songs. They cite Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Bauhaus, Nick Drake, Brian Eno and Death in June as influences, which does make sense when you listen to the music. Their music certainly tends to embrace the darkness. I can’t help but think Joy Division was an influence as well as Jedd often reminded me of Ian Curtis when he sang.
The EP starts off with “Lethe” which contains a lot of dark energy. I was reminded of the chaotic unrestrained noise I heard on Liars’ 2006 album Drum’s Not Dead. It’s gothic and overwhelming at times without the slightest sign of light.
To my surprise that initial energy is nowhere else to be found on the EP. The music moves at a slower, more contemplative place. You start to hear some of the influence from Godspeed You! Black Emperor on the next track although I wouldn't call this post-rock. For as how dark the song is you wouldn't expect some of the vocal parts to be as catchy as they are. Whether Jedd is singing or just providing harmonies it sounds good. As the song progresses it slowly but surely gets more intense, working to a crescendo that spills over to a lone vocal and guitar.
“Diamond” is without a doubt the most dynamic song. The first five minutes are ethereal and atmospheric where the vocals are just above a hush. Once the band kicks into gear the music can definitely fit into the post-rock category.
They close with “The Rain Birds.” This song contains moments of darkness that spill into beauty something that bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sigur Rós do quite regularly. FLAK is an impressive debut. They aren't quite on the level as their influences but they do manage to whip up a rather unique sound here and have plenty of potential.
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