Flower – Heel of the Next / Physical God EP
NYC's Flower return with a new single featuring powerful bass, aggressive crustcore guitar with melancholic tones, precise drumming, and fierce anarcha-feminist vocals railing against corporate and systemic oppression.
Flower, a new band in the crust/anarcho-punk circles, hails from NYC and recently, in December 2023, released their new single Heel of the Next / Physical God on Fight For Your Mind in Europe and Peace Of Mind Records in the USA. This is their first release after their brilliant 2022 full-length debut Hardly a Dream (released on the legendary anarchist punk label Profane Existence), which was very well received by the wider community and despite the obvious comparisons to Nausea, the band managed to create their own sound, taking influences from various bands and scenes, at times even sounding gothic-adjacent.
The single was recorded by Joe at D4MT and mixed and mastered at Red Lantern Studios. The work on the mix is especially great, as the dark atmospheric approach they seem to be going for is presented very gracefully and cleanly, perfect for this kind of guitar and bass work and reminiscent of some ’80s production styles.
I’d say they’ve picked up right where they left off with their first release. Strong, catchy and very present bass-lines, brutal crustcore guitar riffs mixed with melancholic harmonics, ideally timed drums and fierce vocals that express all the anarcha-feminist rage directed at multinational corporations, late stage capitalism, racism and ongoing systems of oppression in the supposedly “democratic” country they come from…
The occasional gothic undertone is present throughout the single, even more so than on the album, most notably in the very full, dark bass-lines and mournful guitar harmonies that remind us of bands like Exit-Stance, The Mob, Poison Girls and sometimes even early Christian Death and other deathrock/batcave bands. Otherwise, the sound is overflowing with a strong energy of militant protest against all hierarchies and boundaries, with the riffs and the overall political message of the band reminding not only of Nausea, but also of other bands of that era like the recently reformed Disaffect or (also recently reformed) Detestation. There’s a certain similarity to the intelligent anarchist anthems of Dave Trenga’s bands Aus-Rotten and Behind Enemy Lines—not only in the lyrical themes, but also in the perfectly crafted songs of tireless, endless rebellion, done with a certain level of musical technique and intelligent compositional approach that is undeniably high here. The band knows their instruments and their theory, has obviously different influences, never seems to sound uninspired and I didn’t hear a single filler riff on this single or on the brilliant twelve tracks of Hardly a Dream.
I guess that’s the result of a combined effort of musical mastery, exquisitely presented militant feminist ideas, hard work and dedication to DIY culture and ethics. In other words, the perfect tools and the greatest, most effective (as time has proven with older influential bands that did all these things right) recipe for sonic punk rebellion against white supremacy, sexism, racism, transphobia, and most importantly—state and capital.
Support Flower via their official Bandcamp page or order a copy of the Fight for Your Mind/Peace Of Mind single, depending on where you live. Bands like these are needed in the scene right now, and with their interesting atmospheric approach to crust punk, we can only wonder what they have planned for us next.