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Flasher - Constant Image (Album Review)

Thursday, 14 June 2018 Written by Liam Turner

Photo: Jen Dessinger 

Flasher have a couple of things in common with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Firstly, the band don’t have a defined centre, with no traditional ‘leader’ and the trio sharing vocal duties. They’re also part of an inchoate wave of contrarians kicking hard against the entrenched political systems that define their home city, Washington, D.C..

But, you might not initially recognise Flasher as being particularly anti-establishment upon listening to ‘Constant Image’. Compared to their 2016 debut EP, it’s quite poppy: a dreamy, fuzzed-out affair filled with new wave synths and singalong choruses.

The bass is sturdier, the vocals are more melodic, and the production is a bit more refined. Whether these adjustments are a conscious decision or more due to the input of producer Nicolas Vernhes (the War on Drugs, Animal Collective, Deerhunter) is hard to say.

But dig a little deeper into the lyrics and you’ll find evidence of themes more reflective of Flasher’s counterculture roots. “No future, no fate,” bassist Daniel Saperstein spits on Skim Milk. “Keeping face, or self-effacing?” they all sing on Pressure.

There’s nothing in particular that Flasher are kicking against. They’re just kicking. But it doesn’t really matter that the band aren’t as overtly political as some of their D.C. brethren - like Priests, for whom guitarist Taylor Mulitz plays bass. If anything, it makes the mishmashed three-piece stand out.

On highlight Who’s Got Time, for example, the group make no political nods at all, choosing instead to detail the dying days of a tired relationship. “It’s not like I had a reason for leaving you / Thinking I could fix it if it wasn’t for Adderall,” they shout amid instrumentation that wouldn’t sound out of place on a (very) early Green Day record. Ironically, it’s the record’s most musically punk piece.

But, like Bitcoin, it’s hard to say if Flasher will still be around in 10 years’ time. ‘Constant Image’ is a fine record, one whose 10 tracks offer sufficient stimulation for 30-odd minutes. But does it make all that much of a lasting impression? That’s a little less clear.

Flasher Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue November 06 2018 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Thu November 08 2018 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Fri November 09 2018 - GLASGOW Glad Cafe
Sat November 10 2018 - MANCHESTER Now Wave Venue Basement
Sun November 11 2018 - BRIGHTON Hope & Ruin
Tue November 13 2018 - LONDON Lexington

Click here to compare & buy Flasher Tickets at Stereoboard.com.





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