Flipper CD reviewed by Steve Miller

Music Reviews
Flipper CD reviewed by Steve Miller
May 19, 2009, 14:16



It was hard to figure why American Grafishy didn't really knock me out but the Eureka moment arrives on the third listen to Love; The Flipper sound needs to be funneled through the analog prism. And I mean analog in the recording studio, not the amps, since it appears that at least guitarist Falconi still uses tubes. This realization might be the most tragic of the elements of a digital divide.

If the 10 songs here were recorded in the same studio, same time/place as  Generic was, this would be a tremendous release. Even the halfhearted Grafishy would do more damage. We need to hear that final wash of noise at the end of “(I Saw You) Shine” in the right places, and those sounds just aren't made any more.

More important, it takes that throbbing bass and the guitar with the under-produced skronk—a Strat and a Rat, as I recall—to keep the Flipper legend fed.

As it is, the songs of Love are fine—sometimes much better than fine like “Only One Answer.”  And while “Why Can't You See” is no “Wheel,” it sure does feel good in the same way, inducing the same passive-aggressive buzz.Â

But the digital recording makes the guitar more solid and bashing rather than ambiently aggressive and spacey. The drums here sound like sound check at the local rock venue rather than a falling-down drunk boxy noise. And the bass, while still an impressive distortion filled rumble, is clean and well placed.

Love is terrific and bad—a weird dichotomy. Any Flipper fan will dig it despite its flat sound, as we are at the point in music where the past more than recommends the present—it demands its presence.

Flipper is one of those bands that won't age—the characters are compelling and tough and scary at all times, and even the Flower Child Krist Novoselic, on bass this week, can't diminish the seedy legacy. In fact, just by association Novoselic is now that peacenik who can whip your ass.

And yea, we always miss Will Shatter, but Flipper is still a grinding machine that lays to waste most anyone around. [MVD Audio]



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