Flashes are a “four-sometimes-five” piece band based in Cornwall (UK), self-described as playing “dreamy grunge-infused noise-pop” influenced by Sonic Youth, Slowdive, Aphex Twin, Dinosaur Jr. and The Cure. “Black Monday/Infinites” was released as a double single in February 2018, following the July 2017 EP release of “Rzhev”.
“Black Monday” begins with the dark anticipation of a ghost story as a few strummed notes pull you in closer over a lilting reverb. A mysterious vocal line, sung in a warning hush, continues: “There is heartache that is deep, walk over water with your grief, hope is an anchor to your wait, no one can help you with your pain.” The tempo picks up slightly as the drums come crashing in to create the sound of full-on intensity. The progression of the instrumentalization, combined with the steady melody line, are hypnotic and dark yet inviting nonetheless. With caution: “Life’s getting older each new day, and it’s too much to take..so here we are don’t ignore this, it feels like it’s gonna get out”. The last two minutes of this nearly eight minute song departs on a long exit of all the auditory signals fading out.
“Infinites” feels more like a meditation on longing, with a hazy guitar line being washed in waves. Chantlike, dissonant vocals echo throughout the song: “You’re awake, you’re afraid, you’re awake, what did you find?” Other sounds glitter over the water, just enough to keep you in a half-dream state versus wake. Each part separate but part of the collective vibe. The entire song feelings like a swaying movement towards something ~ “So soon you’re gone, here in/here on, you keep on, you keep…infinites, infinites, infinites.” In the last 30 seconds, there is a sharp surge of sound as if being thrust into oblivion. No longer lost, but found. Or gone.
There is an absorbing, introspective quality to Flashes’ sound. The craftsmanship of the songwriting is impeccable. I can only imagine how immersive listening to either of these songs would feel live. True mood music that curates feelings that one may or may not want to experience. Either way it will beautifully affect you.
For Fans Of: The Black Ryder, Radiohead, The Cure, Whirr, The Horrors
Genres: Alternative Rock, Heavy Shoegaze