Like American contemporaries the Killers and Interpol, and Delorentos and Director closer to home, Irish four-piece the Flaws are indebted to the British post-punk scene of the early '80s, crafting ultra melodic indie pop music with little pretension to originality but plenty of spirit and strong songwriting. There's more than a hint of Brandon Flowers' nasally faux-English tone in the vocals of frontman Paul Finn, while the clean, delay-soaked guitar melodies which intersect the bulk of the group's material clearly have their roots in the tasteful styles of the Smiths' Johnny Marr, U2's the Edge and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck.
The Flaws formed in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, Ireland in 2002. Originally known as "Sweet Relief," the group consisted of lead guitarist Shane Malone, singer and second guitarist Paul Finn, bassist Dane MacMahon, and drummer Colin Berrill. For the first couple of years of their existence they were an unsuccessful covers band. In 2004, they switched their focus to original music, and quickly put together a body of work. Now named the Flaws, the group took the unusual course of developing their fan base in rural Ireland rather than descending upon the major metropolises. The decision appeared to work; their self-financed debut EP, led by fan favorite "Sixteen," was limited to just 300 copies in 2005, but it circulated enough to earn the group a six-month development deal with Sound Foundation, a division of U.K. label Polydor Records, which was also home to then hotly tipped Dublin band Humanzi.
The Flaws released their debut single "No Room" in March of 2006. Despite performing well, Polydor chose not to renew the band's contract upon its expiration, leaving the Flaws label-less but in possession of an almost completed album and no strings attached. They founded their own label, Arrival Records, and finished up recording with Gareth Mannix (Director, Republic of Loose) at the residential studio in Grouse Lodge, and in the studio they'd built in Finn's garden shed. In May of 2007, the group release "Sixteen" as a single; it debuted at number 29 in the Irish singles chart, and was followed two months later with "1981." In September, the Flaws' debut album Achieving Vagueness was released. ~ Dave Donnelly