London four piece Flats have set their minds to reminding the world of the early days of punk, with a supposed manifesto for chaos, brutality and knuckle raw jams. On stage however, they’re a lot tamer than that. Despite spending interviews talking up bands like Swans and Arab On Radar as key influences, and telling the world they want to be the kind of band that sends people running from the room, Flats are actually a much politer proposition in the flesh, actually coming over as nothing more than a bit disjointed.
Sure, every guitar riff that buzzes from the amps is laced with menace and aggression, while the drums and bass clatter along without much thought to each other’s whereabouts in the songs, but the volume isn’t ear splitting nor the band’s stage antics anything to raise an eyebrow to. Their tracks, most of which are two minute blasts like ‘Top Hat‘, ‘Big Souls’ and ‘Are You Feeling Rusty?’ sound like UK underground punk bands like Crass or Discharge, rather than Napalm Death, but they’ll probably be okay with that. Their politeness is actually best summed up by singer Dan Devine’s closing words – “This is our last one, I hope you like it.” And that’s not very punk at all.
By Tom Goodwyn
Originally published in issue 26 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2011