False Flags – Hexmachine

Posted: 13 December 2015 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

20th November 2015

Christopher Nosnibor

As the press release reminds me, from around 2005 – 2010, ‘Leeds had one of the most vibrant DIY hardcore/metal scenes in the UK with Humanfly, Chickenhawk, Whores Whores Whores, Narcosis, Year of the Man, The Plight, Red Stars Parade, Bilge Pump, Gentleman’s Pistols and Send More Paramedics playing week in, week out alongside regular visitors to the city such as Bossk, Taint and Manatees.’

I saw a fair few of these bands: in fact, one of the first gigs I attended in Leeds, and my first trip to the Brudenell, was Whitehouse, supported by Broken Bone (who were shit) and Whores Whores Whores (who were incredible). While bands like Kaiser Chiefs and I Like Trains have garnered broader popularity due to their greater accessibility in commercial terms, the likes of Blacklisters are in many ways more representative of the seething fury that bubbles like molten lava at the heart of the contemporary Leeds scene.

The majority of the 2005-2010 acts are now long extinct, many have gone on to form newer bands creating a whole host of exciting new heavy music – the success of Chickenhawk since they rebranded as Hawk Eyes has been remarkable, and thoroughly deserved. One of the bands to have emerged from this period of effervescence is False Flags, formed out of the ashes of Red Stars Parade, Whores x 3 and Year of the Man. Hexmachine is their self-released debut mii-album.

That it is self-released is significant: the post-millennium Leeds scene has very much been about the DIY ethos, and also about the noise. Hexmachine is unaplogetically brutal, blending dizzying math-rock elements with bludgeoning power-chords and monster riffage to cook up an angular, violent metal-edged stew.

It’s not completely po-faced or built on endless rage and angst: ‘Pet Wolf’ is about frontman Jenko’s Chihuahuas, and elsewhere, ‘Phone My Wallet’ stokes a ferocious inferno about 21s Century problems. But rather than undermine the band’s premise, these details only add to their appeal: the topics are relatable, and the delivery is relentlessly visceral. The anger is explosive and sends flares in all directions. The delivery, and production, is immediate, raw, and in your face – and that’s exactly as it should be.

False Flags

https://falseflags.bandcamp.com/

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