I’ll be upfront: Flogging a Dead One Horse Town (FADOHT) are not the dreamy melodic popsters that often typify the kind of band I review. This eponymous EP is muscular, brutal, industrial noise, but filled with highly satisfying aural chemistry. The track titles alone endear me to the band – indicating a duo who don’t take themselves too seriously.
Opening instrumental track, ‘Romantic Duck Salad: Part A – Glazed’ is a case in point. With the relentless fuzzy scuzzy soundscapes, you could be trapped in a saw mill with whirring blades and chaos. There’s nothing romantic about this salad, but I have to say it sets the pulse racing. A soundtrack to a horror movie where you are being chased by a maniac with a chainsaw.
Unlike its predecessor, ‘Meteorite Debris’ – another instrumental – does what it says on the packaging. Thunderous strikes of sinew-destroying fuzz and distortion. There’s something cathartic in this onslaught. It’s like the slightly discomforting satisfaction you get from watching a revenge movie.
‘Dork Tomahawk’ dials the attack down from 11 to a more calming 8 on the dial and gives a clear indication of the inherent musicianship and creativity of FADOHT. This is a mesmerising, cyclical tune that builds up and subsides like a tide, a little less fuzz and a little more melody.
Fourth track, ‘I can see. Your (sic) god damn right I can see’ introduces poor grammar in the title as well as vocals for the first time in a Nine Inch Nails type angry chant.
‘For Relief, I Turn Back to the Folds of My Trousers’ is a highlight – an extended bubbling piece with the track title repeated over various vocal tracks and musical layers. There is a Basement Jaxx vibe to the musical form and a dream-like fugue that stretches over nine minutes. It’s trippy, it’s hypnotic and slightly intimidating. A particularly apt description of FADOHT.
The EP is a curated assembly of the band’s previous releases. It is not readily accessible, it is not particularly commercial, but it is jolly pulse-racing fun.
You can get it here:
FADOHT are Tim Roberts (guitars/vocals/samples) and David Shannon (drums/vocals and apparently a damn good BBQ) and hail from Otumoetai and Christchurch in New Zealand. Possible sources of the band’s name, although to be fair, Christchurch is the birthplace of the legendary Flying Nun Records.
This release is from the inimitable Muzai Records: a valuable boutique label operating deep out of Yorkshire but with roots stretching to the land of the long white cloud (also variously known as Aotearoa, Jacinta-land or New Zealand). Muzai Records represent a mix of UK and New Zealand artists who, as diverse as they are, share an eclectic, innovative and creative independence.