I've been a fan-girl of Flangipanis music since I first heard them whilst living in Brisbane 7 years ago, so yeah, this is probably gonna be biased, and almost certainly a 5 star review.
I was stoked enough to simply be at the Brissy launch last Saturday, but even more stoked with my band being asked to support, so let me start with holy shit that was an incredible show! The Brisbane punk scene is alive and well, and over 250 people piled into The Brightside for the party! But I digress...
Flangipanis - Always the Bridesmaid - You should buy it here.
In true Flangipanis style, this album starts with a party song: Some fuzzy bass and drums give us seven seconds to prepare for the next half hour of sing-alongs and "High.Drunk.Loose" is absolutely no exception: It starts with a "GO" and has you yelling "aye-e-yeah-e-yeah HIGH.DRUNK.LOOSE" almost instantly, then changes it all up, insert a little solo for good measure, before heading back to anthem territory!
"Fuck you and your stupid party" proves that they can make a signalong with just those words, and lets face it, anyone who says they aren't at least humming along to this is a fucking liar.
Track 3 is a punk song about shitty police that says more than just "fuck cops."
"Make this city safe" shares a driving rhythm with an account of how hard it can be to simply exist in alternative culture in any city, without being persecuted, and is obviously a crowd favourite. Bonus points for a Joh Bjelke-Peterson reference in the lyrics, and the use of cow-bell.
"Phone.Keys.Smokes.Wallet. - Doom" This little track comes in two parts. A doom interlude, and a reggae interlude. It's a musical checklist for everyday party goers. Both include reminders to bring a lighter, and a jumper if it's cold...
"Shitty Amps" is my favourite song on the album. It perfectly encapsulates how hard playing live music can be when you're in a small time band, yet also how we just wouldn't have it any other way! Everything this song says is just how I feel about the hard times in the music scene in Canberra, yet it's said with such optimism! Jodie's vocal harmony work on this track makes the choruses hit that level and you've gotta wonder why Flangipanis aren't the biggest band in Australia right now.
There's also a cool solo, and this line: "Shit fuck cunt pussy cock arse dicks, I’m using bread ties coz I lost my picks." which obviously makes more sense in context.
Pauly wrote a song about "WoW." It's a 4/4 punk song for the nerd in everyone. It's the only one led by his vocals, and it's great. You can hear Rancid in the verses, and this track would sit so well on a hellcat records sampler from the early 2000's. I never understood World of Warcraft, but it's still a ripper tune.
"One More Drink" Is a lot deeper than I thought on first listen, but rather than tell you what I think of it (like a good review should include) you can go check it out yourself. You're still gonna be singing along by the end of it though, so if you're the person to get lyrics and melodies stuck in your head, maybe set aside a little bit more time to learn all the words.
"Intermission" is not in the middle of the CD. At track 8 of 12 I'm a bit weirded out. It's still a cool instrumental jam, though, and I love hearing 2 guitars doing different things at once.
Unrelated thought: Imagine if this music was played in elevators, I feel like we'd get more shit done in our lives...
I'm a big fan of sound bytes in songs, and Flangipanis are no stranger to them either. "Orchy Bong" features a brief argument at the end that made me smile. It's so good to hear people happy to take the piss for a laugh. "They don't even make Orchy anymore"
I had to go back through their back catalogue to figure out what song the opening riff reminds me of, and I got side-tracked re listening to "Cover Your Ears" for another half hour.
"Phone.Keys.Smokes.Wallet. - Reggae" is part two of two. Do they play them both live? Of course they do. Don't forget to check again, you probably put your lighter down somewhere.
The second last track features some great musicians from The Gutter Birds on keys and backing vocals: A doo-wop number called "Poon Lagoon." It's a total change of sound for just over two minutes, but the filth of Flangipanis lyrics is still very present. The Gutter Birds opened the Brisbane launch show on the weekend, and then re-joined them for this track. It was fucking terrific!
"I Won't Spill My Drink." The closer. More fucking anthems! Another song that speaks to me of how good the punk scene is in Brisbane, and in Australia in general. It's a great closer, and it just leaves me wanting more. I'm so glad I get to see them again on this tour. Absolute Legends