Poolside At The Flamingo – This Will End Badly

Okay, Poolside At The Flamingo is a very, very good band now, but if they start emphasizing certain traits, they’re going to be completely unique and revolutionary in the metal scene. I don’t even think the guys in the band know what they’re sitting on, so I feel it’s my duty to clarify. Observe:

1. There’s nothing better than brutal death metal with bizarre, esoteric experimentation, and Poolside At The Flamingo fits that descriptor perfectly. The base of the music is brutal death with a fair helping of grind and a delicate brushing of metalcore. Good so far. Then you add an extremely technical edge ala Beneath The Massacre or even Psyopus; tricky, but it can work. There’s a bit of Watchmaker type spasticness as well, which is always a nice extra feature. But after that it gets weird: massive stretches of ambiance or samples or just empty space, paranoid, atonal tremolo riffing, ‘breakdowns’ that move at near funeral doom pace or with awkward, gangly rhythms. These features, of course, make this band awesome, and I can only hope that the band makes it even more abstract and alienating in the future. A special note: I love how clipped the samples are. Ten seconds of a conversation and not any gap at all when the insane speed kicks in, or the opposite, where the music completely drops out without warning. Awesome stuff.

2. This band has one of the coolest, most evocative names ever. And they even do it justice sometimes! The sole instrumental track on ‘This Will End Badly’, ‘100 Miles To Flagstaff’, captures the sort of atmosphere and sonic presence that the band should be going for in the future. Mid-paced and discordant with a sun-baked trudge to it, like four guys in a Cadillac headed out to Vegas for some sort of brutal act of revenge. Really, I can see it now in some demented combination of ‘Casino’, ‘A History Of Violence’ and ‘Kalifornia’, the perfect soundtrack for such a scenario. The band flickers into it at other places as well, when the frantic blasting and fills cut off in favor of sludgy breaks that don’t really move as much as sink into their own malice. Otherwise, the music is fast and very violent, with near constant gravity blasting, atonal tremolo, and frantically screeched/shouted/growled vocals. The band is at their most atmospheric and dark when they slow it down, though, and it’s what really sets them apart.

3. The metalcore influence here is completely impure. Every traditional metalcore riff has been distorted and perverted far beyond how it was intended, every trace of melody thoroughly expunged except for the briefest of moments. As stated before, the breakdowns aren’t really breakdowns; just angry, undanceable bursts of sludgy hatred that would result in most hardcore kids looking around confused than windmilling away. The instrumental skill of everyone in this band is high, REALLY high, almost ridiculously so, with drumming that sounds like a machine at times and riffing that never stops changing with almost zero repetition present. Luckily, it never feels demonstrative, because the music is just so chaotic that everything fits into the structure quite perfectly where other bands would fail.

Now, they’re not there yet, but I have a reason to think that they will be on the next album. First order of the day: more atmosphere! Poolside At The Flamingo is creating atmospheric music, but not on purpose, and not with a specific atmosphere in mind. Fix that and they’ll immediately shoot to the top of the pile. Or they can go the more demented route and just experiment even more harshly and use the audience as a guinea pig for whatever demented idea they come up with next. Personally, I think that if they just keep what they have now and go the former route, they’ll trailblaze in their genre. Right now, they’re merely very good. But on the NEXT album, they’ll fly completely off the handle if all goes correctly.

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~ by noktorn on August 24, 2007.

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