Washington D.C. is known for two things: politicians and punk bands. Flasher, thankfully, is the latter. Flasher splits the difference between punk and post-punk, with great Ramones- and Buzzcocks-inspired riffs galore. Constant Image, Flasher’s debut album, also sports some great production that occasionally makes it sound like a 1980s post-punk record—there are parts of it that sound dreamy and textured like something that The Cure (or even The Smiths) would have done. All in all, this is a tight, bright little record with hooks for days.
FCCs: 4, 6
Favorites: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10
1) “Go” (1:41) – Roars into focus on a wave of feedback, then buzzes along like some sort of punk shoegaze hybrid—too blurry to be the former, too focused to be the latter. Very abrupt ending.
2) “Pressure” (3:15)* – Fast-paced but kind of muted punk. Sounds like a classic underground ‘90s alt-rock song.
3) “Sun Come and Golden” (3:35)* – Slower song that switches out the punk aggression for post-punk texture. Minimalist groove that sounds kind of like DIIV.
4) “Material” (3:46) – FCC “f***.” A return to the brisk tempos and abrasive guitar riffs. Builds to a rousing climax in the last minute and a half.
5) “XYZ” (2:40)* – Another buzzy and brisk song that smacks of the Ramones. Ends in a droning sound that runs from 2:24 to an abrupt cutoff at 2:35.
6) “Who’s Got Time?” (2:24) – FCC “s***.” Okay, this is even more of a Ramones bite than the last song, right down to the tone of the singer’s voice. And it’s great. Don’t we have an FCC-clean version of this? If so, play the clean version.
7) “Skim Milk” (3:45)* – Song feels a little less aggressive than its predecessors but keeps up the speed. Another great song.
8) “Harsh Light” (3:33) – Slower alt-rock song that’s rich on texture. That said, I wish it had some more bite, y’know?
9) “Punching Up” (3:32)* – Another slower alt-rock song that puts more emphasis on the rhythm section than the guitars. There’s a more dynamic switch from quieter verses to louder choruses. Gnarly guitar solo just after the two-minute mark.
10) “Business Unusual” (3:06)* – Jangly guitar with thick bassline. There’s even a couple of saxophone solos! Makes for a nice change of pace from the rest of the album.