Sonically, some interesting stuff is going on in the Fleshï¿½s self-titled debut; the songsï¿½ interesting formats go beyond rhythm-lead-vocals thinking, and there is passion in what the band is doing. But the ideas only stretch through about three or four songs; then they just start to repeat.
The Flesh, which consists of four songs from previously released Death Connection and Sweat Defeat EPs, plays through interestingly enough at first. I was initially struck by the keyboard-laden, slightly unwieldy canvas the band works from, but things run on after a few listens. Innovation skirts dangerously close to quirkiness, and songs blend together too much to make this solid. Honest, yes, but mayhap the band needs to hone its ideas into more variations on tempo and structure.
ï¿½Love Your Fateï¿½ starts the album strong enough, with a full range of instrumentation in its intro. But once the verse starts, we see the first instance of a much overused writing technique: disjointed riffing over sparse, halftime drums. ï¿½Death Connectionï¿½ through ï¿½Cuts,ï¿½ the fifth track, work off similar schemes, beginning with slightly disjointed riffs over laidback, half-time drums, all of it sneaking toward choruses that just donï¿½t seem to be dynamic enough to save the first leg of the album from being non-distinctive. That same format resurfaces on ï¿½Foesï¿½ and closer ï¿½Death Ship,ï¿½ which starts forebodingly but never crescendos away from the formula and into musical fruition.
There are cool ideas here, so itï¿½s too bad they get played out — it makes The Flesh a tiring listen. And that four of the ten songs have been previously released (and are also some of the albumï¿½s best) makes me wonder how deep the well runneth.