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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Flop - Whenever You're Ready

Name: Flop
Album: Whenever You're Ready
Year: 1993
Style: Alternative
Similar Bands: Birdland, Oasis, Gene, Supergrass
"One-Word" Review: Power-Grunge-Fake-Brit-Pop
Based Out Of: Seattle, Wa
Label: Sony, 550 Music, Epic
Whenever You're Ready - Cover, Liner Pics, Back & CD
Whenever You're Ready - Liner Notes

Whenever You're Ready (1993)
  1. A. Wylie 2:30
  2. Regrets 3:14
  3. Julie Francavilla 2:10
  4. Pluto 3:04
  5. En Route to the Unified Field Theory 4:20
  6. A Fixed Point 2:59
  7. A Popular Donkey 0:22
  8. The Great Valediction 1:52
  9. Mendel's White Trash Laboratory 2:31
  10. Z ^2 + C 1:51
  11. Sorry Henry Maartens 2:42
  12. Night of the Hunter 1:45
  13. Port Angeles 2:35
  14. Eat 2:04
  15. Woolsworth 2:38
  16. Pts. 1 & 2 4:08
  17. Need Retrograde Orbit 3:55
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
Nate Johnson - Drums (Pure Joy, The Fastbacks, Squirrels)
Rusty Willoughby -Vox, Guitar (Pure Joy, Llama)
Paul Schurr - Bass Background Vox (The Seers of Bavaria, Best Kissers In The World)
Bill Campbell - Guitar (Chemistry Set)
Martin Rushent - Producer, Mixed, Digi Pre-Master
Chris Swenson - Managment
Laurie Soriano - Legal Rep
Stuart "Big Fat Drums" Meyer - A&R
Chris Hanzsek - Recorded, Digi Pre-Master
Tom Hall - Production Engineering Asst
Larz Nefzger - Production Engineering Asst
Stephen Marcussen - Mastering
Kim "Car Crash" Carter - Cello
Edwin Judah Fotheringham - Cover Art, Concept & Art Direction (the Thrown Ups)
Hammi Hammerschmidt - Photos

Unknown-ness: This is another one of the records I came across in my collection but have no recollection of why or when I got it. Perhaps I listened to a bit of it and then bought it, although there is no sticker from a CD store on it. It has a punched hole in the bar code, so I probably got it real cheap, perhaps after I read about them in some alternative magazine. So from the names of the songs and the imagery, they appear to be a sophisticated, intelligent alternative band from Seattle. I’ve read a bit more about them saying that they are pop punk. Sounds like fun to me, but we shall see if it stands up to the reviews, let alone time.

Album Review: The CD starts off with “A. Wylie,” a powerful alterna-pop guitar driven song featuring whiney pseudo British vocals spread out sparingly against the musical backdrop. The chorus, minus the fuzz and guitar distortion could be like something from the Monkee’s catalogue. “Regrets” is a head-banging alterna-grunge song, sounding a little like a whinier Glenn Tilbrook in the beginning, but the style of his vocal melody over he chorus (and in the first song as well) is very new-British invasion inspired. I’m thinking Birdland, Blur or Oasis, (even through Oasis came around the following year). “Julie Francavilla” is a fast, alterna-punk song that is only by musical pace, the vocals flow over the guitars as if it is a slower song. “Pluto” is a feet dragging grungy distorted waltz. I think I’ve heard this song before, or I kinda remember this song. It is very British in its delivery of the chorus. The music takes center stage in this song, as the vocals sections are sparse and short. A stray cat strut bass line and guitar hook start “En Route to the Unified Field Theory.” But that style is quickly drowned in fuzz for the chorus. And it sounds a bit like Greenday’s “Longview” or “Hitchin a Ride.” “A Fixed Point” is a loopy, vocal distorted, wobble of a pop song. This sounds like if Blur and Suede collided. It is a little more experimental, and strays from the format they have previously displayed. “A Popular Donkey” is a short jaunty instrumental carnival tune that might mimic a cartoon donkey bucking. “The Great Valediction” starts out with a true metal chugging guitar, and then the Monkees style vocals, but slightly raspy, cover over, making the pop melody displace the metal completely. The chorus sounds like a James B-side called “You Will Be Sorry.” But the vocal melody is very catch in this song. And there are bee sound effects for some reason.

“Mendel's White Trash Laboratory” is a straight forward grunge rock song, still with the accent on power guitars. “Z ^2 + C” quietly fades into whiny guitar instrumental existence, and then back out again. “Sorry Henry Maartens” is a slower groove, a standard album filler song that I, as a fan wonder what value the song brings to a live show, other than possibly it might selfishly be fun to play. “Night of the Hunter” is a description of and of going to see the movie of the same name. It is a nice power pop song, with a nice descending melodic chorus. “Port Angeles” is a little more rockabilly punk with the bass line and guitars working very well together. But as the song progresses, the vocals cruise over the music, taking away all the punk tendencies. It has a sudden ending, and progresses into the next song, “Eat,” with full punk force, similar to Social Distortion or Sugar. It builds well in the chorus, and creates anticipation for a chorus & hook that never materializes. “Woolsworth” is an “ooo-ooo-ooo” song; at least those are the first vocals. The harmonized vocals in the chorus give the song the catchiness it needs to be memorable. “Pts. 1 & 2” is a near acoustic nasally vocals slow song. And it is very oasis-like. It features strings in the background along with the acoustic guitar, and hushed drums. About 2 minutes in, part 2 kicks in, and it is rockin’ with driving guitar chords. The lyrical melody of part two’s chorus is sing-song, and very catchy. It feed backs out, and the fuzz guitar winds down. But it spills into the next track, “Need Retrograde Orbit,” which feels a bit like being stranded in space, with the slight echo placed on the vocals and its slow floating tempo. There is even astronaut like communication dialogue in the background. The synthesizer adds to the space effect with its repetitive Close Encounters sound. This composite of sounds repeats throughout the end of the song, lasting nearly 2 minutes and finishes the album in a strip down of the instruments.

Stand Out Track: The Great Valedation

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Seattle Bands
Old Fart At Play fanpage

1 comment:

  1. Flop is great!
    I heard the song "Julie Francavilla" on Hype! the documentary about the Seattle grunge scene, a lotta good bands in that movie.
    Anyways, I'm glad to see this :) keep rockin'