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Firetower

The Flesh

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Album Review

Listening to Firetower is almost like listening to an entirely different band than the Flesh circa 2004. Just three years passed since their last album, but role adjustments occurred during that time, which (aside from new drummer Peter Angevine) ultimately turned keyboardist/backing vocalist Gabriella Zappia into the main attraction. She doesn't just pop up every now and again to provide contrast to Nat Halpern's snotty yowling; roles have been flipped so now you barely even hear Halpern at all, and the focus lies on Zappia's near-Chrissie Hynde vocals. The quirky, almost hedonistic nature of past songs (along with the vague hip-hop underpinnings) has slipped out of view right along with the more unruly Halpern, but that's not to say the reconfigured band is bad, they're just different — more normal. It's still the same sexy cool, probing basslines, and stylish scenester cred sharpening the edges of the band's synth-infused indie rock hooks, but Firetower is calmer and much more collected. "The Truant" and the title track make no bones that dramatics are still key — the latter song especially standing out with its pulsing mix mash of creepy keyboards and classy violins — but there's just a feeling that this is all too levelheaded, and most songs would serve better to stroll along in shadows (see "Justice") than throw any sort of banging house party. The Flesh definitely bring late-night grooves with a nice mischievous bite, which, yes, makes for a good time. But that good time is only achieved this album through songs much less distinctive than earlier work, and unfortunately, the rest of the New York hipster scene as well. A fine album, but still slightly unsatisfying all the same.

Customer Reviews

Great work

I miss part of the sound of the first album but love the direction of this one. Hope they put out a third album because I can only imagine that'll trump the previous two. A must buy.

YES YES YES!!!

I cannot stop listening to this record! It has the right mix of swagger and sincerity. It feels balls out and meticulous all at the same time. This is a huge departure from their old stuff (which I also liked) - so much of a departure that I even checked their website to make sure it was the same band. But on a closer listen a lot of the same elements are there. Above all it's really fun. It might feel a little too diverse for its own good (for that reason I'd probably give it 4.5 stars if I could) - but all of the different styles are pulled off very well. Highlights are "The Cradle, the Brothel, the Bible..." for its anthemic promise, "Firetower" for its pop gold, and "Morale" for its rock power. Do yourself a favor and buy this - you won't regret it!

THEIR BEST WORK SO FAR!!!

I've been following their music for quite a while... Great sounds, great performance. I would recommend this album to anyone!! Congrats to the band.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Led by guitarist/vocalist Nicholas Halpern (aka Nathan Halpern), the Flesh also included keyboardist Gabriella Zappia, bassist Jason Binnick, and drummer Greg Rogove. The New York City quartet specialized in the kind of slithering, dance beat-infused art punk that had become a genuine indie rock trend in the early 2000s with the success of groups like the Rapture and the Fever. After debuting in July 2003 with the Death Connection EP for Kanine, the Flesh jumped to Gern Blandsten for the Sweet Defeat...
Full Bio
Firetower, The Flesh
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