Some time back, DeHud featured a Leeds, UK based punk band called ‘The Flex’. They rage with a basic, brutal, hot punk assault and seem to compromise for nobody. This is admirable, but I have found that a few thousand miles away is another band called Flex, but they call Los Angeles, California, home. A very different thing from Leeds, then. So, in a show of friendly competitiveness before we meet up to slam to Off! in Manchester tomorrow, I have decided to throw down the well worn hardcore catchers’ mitt and represent!
I choose to feature the other Flex this evening because I like their sound – much more mellow than the Leeds band of the same name, but reminiscent of good old US hardcore from our generation – the 80s. A five – piece on Money Sink records, the band have this year released an 8 track album which deals out hardcore rations to those hungry for fast, tight and focused music. They cite bands such as Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat and the Descendents as influences, and this shows in their music.
Chanted choruses, fast paced verses and slow chorus breakdowns all feature in their songs, and whilst they break no new ground, they do a really enjoyable version of the format we know and love – and if it’s done right, then that’s enough for me. This is a cracker, and the guys have clearly spent far too long in their bedrooms listening to their hardcore collections, because they show their knowledge of the genre in every song! It’s a free download, and frankly, you need to drop whatever it is you’re doing and download and listen to it right now!
There’s also a cracking video clip here of a full live set played in the tiniest room ever to host live music, including the singer being pushed around by his buddies before they start raging!
But wait! I’m not finished yet! Like many of the bands we feature in Rip It Up, this one has another incarnation, meaning that you actually get two for the price of one. In this case, Flex! also perform as Life Support. Far more melodic and less frantic, this incarnation of the band trades in many of the same sounds, but perhaps at a slower and more considered pace. They have one track, ‘Broken Record’, on showcase at Bandcamp and I thought that you should hear it. Released in May this year, it’s another cracker, and it also allows us to feature a close up picture of a cat’s face. How can this be wrong?