August 28, 2014


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The Flies - Pleasure Yourself

Let's cut to the chase shall we? This is a bloody wonderful, bloody lovely album. It's an album that grows with every listen, that wraps itself around you, that comforts as it disturbs, that enchants, that rewards. Sean Cook, head honcho of The Flies (alongside Emmy award winning soundtrack composers The Insects) is (as we've discussed previously) ex of Spiritualized and Lupine Howl (itself a splendid off-shoot of ex-Spiritualized members) and his previous employer is as good a touchstone to start with as any. Pleasure Yourself shares a somnolent, lush, drowsy, dark heart with Jason Pierce's band but also carries hints of The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev at their 'Soft Bulletin/Deserters' Songs' pinnacle. Basically all the acts dip from the same glorious well in order to create their own unique take on the classic rock canon. You can feel Dennis Wilson's 'Pacific Ocean Blue' here. Dion's legendary 'Born To Be Together' (a Phil Spector masterclass folks, check it out) as well. There are splashes of Tom Waits' 'Swordfishtrombones'/'Raindogs' period in the Hammond/Marimba/Xylophone/Duane Eddy-esque guitar interplay of 'In Her Eyes', an odd, sweetly unsettling whistling coursing through 'Lies', vocal inflections of Richard Ashcroft (back when The Verve were any good) and Thom Yorke (when he still believed in songs) over Leonard Cohen guitar on 'No Wonder' and keyboards that sound simultaneously like 'No Surprises' and The Velvets' 'Sunday Morning' on 'Part of Me' but they sit atop a gently strobing way-wah guitar. And yes, that's a lot of comparisons but you'll notice that they're all comparisons to absolute stone cold classics. Pleasure Yourself is so, so much more than the sum of its influences. The Flies have created a darkly cinematic, constantly inventive, absolutely intriguing, cinematic, orchestral masterpiece.

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