(photo courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan)
Music reviewers are often the worst. I can say this, as I've been writing reviews in various zines off-and-on for the past 20 years. I know that i've written plenty of bad reviews over the years, sometimes totally unjustified, other times totally spot on. FLESH LIGHTS just got back from a tour supporting THE HIVES, and played to a bunch of people who have probably never heard of them, know what they're about, or ever been to the type of show they're used to playing. I wasn't at any of these shows, so I cannot say how accurate they are, but they sure are fun to read! Let's see what the internet blogosphere thought of the little band that could:
First things first, there's some good pics on Brooklyn Vegan from the Chicago show, here. Everything else that follows, below, are direct quotes from various reviews around the internet world.
Flesh Points (sic) lack melody:
"Two bands opened the show, starting with a trio called Flesh Points (sic) from Austin, TX. They were impressive in their aggression and volume, but the lack of obvious melody in their songs reminded me how special bands like The Ramones, The Clash, Husker Du, Nirvana and Green Day were in their ability to blend noise and speed with enjoyable ear candy." -via this guy.
"Kings Of Leon-esque shoes!!!":
"Before they could take the stage though, the audience had to sit through the opening acts. Flesh Lights from Austin, Texas, played straight punk rock. They group traded off vocals between all three members quite successfully. And their rather grotesque name was reflected in their fast-and-dirty songs. However, it was hard to take a punk band seriously when the guitarist/singer is dressed in a button-down green shirt, well-tailored jeans and Kings Of Leon-esque shoes; that's a look for a Bright Eyes opener. And, if the middle school "punks" I knew taught me anything, attitude and look is more important than anything else." -via acrn.com.
"The odds of catching a good opening band are slim to none, but I felt that Flesh Lights had a great energy to them. They may not have reinvented the wheel, but it was a fun blast of three-chord punk music. You really can’t go wrong there. The audience seemed to show them plenty of love, but perhaps it wasn’t the crowd for them. The Hives can get pretty crazy, no doubt, but Flesh Lights would’ve been better suited for maybe a Bouncing Souls or an Anti-Flag show." -via hobsnobbery.com
Now I know what to call them in front of my mom:
"The first band was the unfortunately named The Flesh Lights, which I will now refer to as FL because of how disgusting this band name is. Now, I’ve read a couple books on the 70s-80s underground punk scene with Steve Albini and The Minutemen and DIY, but unfortunately I was not there to experience what sounds like an amazing concert scene. I imagine FL’s set is something that would have fit perfectly in that era. They were genuine punk, not cleaned-up like The Hives. The lead singer/guitarist, who didn’t seem any older than I am, had a swagger like Albini, rolling around the stage, screaming, and ripping his guitar up all the while in khakis. Each band member even got a chance to sing, including the drummer who I figured had enough to deal with as it was, playing faster than I’ve seen anyone play in a while. When all was said and done, they were a lot of fun and it was a shame that the crowd wasn’t really responding." -via sounds-of-silva
Finally, a fair review:
"First opener flesh lights offered solidly crafted, slightly over-sincere punk rock featuring a guitarist who looked about twelve, but showed impressive playing skills." -via musikati
Horrible name, "chick" drummer:
"The Vic Theater was halfway full when me and my buddies arrived, right as openers Flesh Light (horrible name, by the way) were kicking the night off. Hives frontman Howlin' Pelle Almqvist’s face was peering at us from from the backdrop from the start of the show, with his puppeteering fingers extended and teasing us while we waited patiently through the opening acts. Flesh Light are a Texas trio, featuring a Rickenbacker bass and Flying V guitar, and a chick drummer. Sorry, these are the things that stuck out to me about the band. Oh, and they all took turns singing lead, which I dig. They were full of energy, I’ll give them that, but not much else stuck out to me. Young punks playing young-punk music." -via punknews.org
"Openers Flesh Lights and Fidlar may be rude and crude, but once you get past the initial shock of one taking their name from a sex toy and the latter being an acronym for “Fuck It Dog Life’s a Risk,” they were actually quite enjoyable. Flesh Lights impressed in how they seemingly progressed from garage punk to doom metal, not to mention how all three members took turns singing lead, including the drummer!" -via musicemissions.com
If any of the people who wrote these reviews want to check out "Muscle Pop" CD/LP by the Flesh Lights and give it a fair shake, get in touch and i'll hook you up.