Most bands who try not to pigeonhole themselves still come from an identifiable place on the music spectrum. While having a strong 80s synth flavour, Flange Circus have a post rock approach that takes in many other styles and have created an EP that could have been made anytime.
‘MBSD’ comes together straight out of the blocks with a dissonant riff, smooth bass and tart drums. Having a slight Sonic Youth feel, you almost expect Kim Gordon to start yelping. The song motors along in a slick manner with some interesting electronics squelching away in the background. Breaking down into the sound scape of a ghostly wilderness, probably the boneyard in which the Ekranoplan featured on the EP’s cover resides. Thudding bass awaits harsh guitar stabs, then the groove rolls back into town, as if someone has taken the defunct Soviet Ground Effect Vehicle for one last cruise on a Russian back river.
I adore ‘Socrates Is Not Your Real Name’. To anyone familiar with British TV of yester-year it sounds like when the lead character finds a mysterious clue and the soundtrack is provided by the Radiophonic Workshop. It’s all very Look And Read. On top of this is coated rigid bass and treated vocals. It takes you back to a time of football stickers.
‘Pork Parade (In A Gold Lame Suit)’ has a similar retro electronic feel, though more in Michael Mann soundtrack style, which kicks up through the gears to become a late night city ride. Past 3 minutes stark guitars shoot lightning bolts for your attention. Past 4 minutes robot drum beats take over with post punk bass and the song rides out in style.
‘Mein Gott Is Kaput’ is a slow, pulsating vibe that should appeal to fans of motorik explorers Warm Digits or Eat Lights Become Lights. Past 4 minutes the song really begins to heat up. I bet this would sound great live, pumped up to become a killer dance track.
‘PUBC (Paper Shoes Vibing On Cat’s Piss)’ sounds like a cross between a dub orientated TV Western theme tune and Radiohead in a washing machine. Like most of the other songs it switches tack halfway to verge towards being a bleepy techno-ish stormer. Lashings of guitar effects provide the backdrop for a Donkey Kong back alley scrap. Taking it to maximum thrust for the last 90 seconds, Flange Circus end the EP with power and style, impressing throughout.
Elements of numerous genres of music are flirted with but it seems that Flange Circus have commitment issues. There is a lot here for a lot of people to enjoy.
The only remaining question is: at 41 minutes how exactly is this an EP?