The Flies - All Too Human
Album Review

The Flies – All Too Human

Since reviewing an LP sampler back in mid August, I gotta tell you, it’s been difficult listening to anything else but The Flies. Sean Cook (formerly of Spiritualized & Lupine Howl) and his latest sordid project, aided by The Insects (Massive Attack, Goldfrapp, Liz Frasier) are really doing it for me, as it should for you too! And so I think it’s only fair that ‘All Too Human’ gets a thorough track by track breakdown, so as to properly present you with its majesty.

‘Walking on the Sand’ jumps straight in with a Velvet Underground ‘Venus in Furs’ bass line that welcomes a percussion and purring pussycat derived vocal slinkiness reminiscent of a Peggy Lee sung ‘Fever’ or P.J. Harvey’s ‘Down by the Water’, to coolly co-habit the songs seemingly simple yet sophisticated structure.

‘The Temptress’ doesn’t stray too far from the path of its predecessor and echoes; coincidentally I’m sure, Space’s ‘Female of the Species’, a song with the same theme! String plucking and orchestrations straight off any Bjork chart track, sublimely support SCs crooning.

‘Bitter Moon’ and its poignant piano intro brings an echo of numerous, timelessly classic tracks that have come before it. By the time the whole band are involved, this track is searing skyward in a blaze of awesomely orchestrated auspiciousness. So it’s quite good really!

‘High’ sneaks up on us with a Lenny Kravitz or Joss Stone kind of funk vibe before kicking in with a Primal Scream ‘Rocks’ pulse that dictates both the energy and tempo throughout each sinister, synth’ driven chorus. And over all of this we hear what should be the classic and memorable dancefloor chant of ‘Get Me High, I Don’t Need Your Love’. What a combination! What a great choice for a debut single.

‘Chills’ to me is a perfectly crafted love song that simply brims with devotion. NOT! Domestic bliss my bum! Charged with an excellently understated and sinister cynicism within the timid orchestration, the eventually supported crystal clear guitar plucking vocal that’s immersed in suppressed emotion is simply exquisite. Songs about the easy destruction and disposal of a dead and lifeless body don’t come any better!

‘My Pleasure’ sounds like Sneaker Pimps ‘Spin Spin Sugar’ and Ian Browns ‘Save Us’ being played underwater at the same time! I know, you’re wondering how I know, aren’t you? I don’t, it’s just my imagination again! This tale of undesirable urges and desireless dreams of degradation keeps the album on the wide open and abstract path of perversion that it started out on nicely.

‘The Elements’ has its very own charismatic kookiness that entices the ear into its mirage filled message of mysticism. With its percussion stirring images of a ‘Carry On’ (maybe up the Nile) film, guiding the oh so masterfully played strings, it’s an intriguing and yearning blend. It’s also the next single, so watch out for it from November 12th!

‘All Too Human’, the title track follows. Bass! Deep deep bass all around! Passé vocals saunter along with the rhythm as the track bluntly builds into an urgency packed jam. Imagine the Charlatans covering Ruby’s ‘Salt Water Fish’ and you’ll have an inkling of what the chorus has to offer, as it interrupts it’s accompanying, less volatile verses

‘No Shame’ instantly reminds us of ‘Everybody’s got to learn sometimes’ owing for the quick off the mark crooning from SC. A song of self redemption and forgiveness with dreamy backing vocals and orchestration that includes some Verve reminiscent harmonica and a constant simple piano part that keeps this song on its hesitant toes.

‘We Began’ continues, again in the same voluptuous vein, with a groove guided tale of doomed love to suitably accompany a track that could’ve easily been on the 1991 ‘Soul Glitter and Sin LP by Thee Hypnotics. This is midnight music for pussycats to stylishly saunter along garden walls to!

‘One of Them’ closes the album with a helpless and emotionally crippled song that echoes the gentle sentiments once touched upon by Pink Floyd. And it’s superb! Reflecting on the lost opportunities of holding soul saving love, only to have it fall through your insensitive fingers of indifference. The percussion is sharp and the swooning music beyond simply lifts you off your feet and allows you to float away (in your mind!). That’s how I read it anyhoo! Now then, where’s that repeat button?

This album is tailor made for dark alley dwelling delinquents and their equally dark desires. Sultry and sordid crooning boosted sounds that are perfect for both those between the sheets or between a rock and a hard place. Whatever situation you’re in, be it between the sheets or two sheets to the wind, this LP will appropriately haunt you, having stirred that deeply buried inner slither of desire of yours from the first listen.

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