Canada as I’ve mentioned before is the home to some great music, but for me there is one band that have massively blown me away with their appealing rage and passion. I discovered Flesh Rag a few months ago whilst in All Ages Records. A brilliant record store in Camden that stocks some of the best music around. It’s ran by guys who know their stuff and are just a pleasure to talk to. I’ve spent many lunch breaks in there forgoing buying something to eat because I’d rather my ears fed than my belly full. I was immediately hooked by Flesh Rag because they reminded me so much of Dead Boys, who I highly regard as one of the greatest bands ever.
Their new 3 track EP consists of songs that do not reach the 3 minute mark but that does not matter. The fury and urgency are put across in a way that doesn’t require any more time. The songs are for the hopeless, helpless and those who are fed up. To feel these emotions all you need to do is put the news on and see how the government are bending us all over and having their way with us, without any say so. I mean Flesh Rag aren’t really political, but it’s easy to apply songs that stir something in you like this and apply it to what you see on the TV etc. If you’re not fed up and you’re all okay with it all, then you’re just part of the problem.
I got home when I bought it this week and played it pretty loud. Nobody was home and I doubt the neighbours were home. I played it and off I went to Punk paradise. I was front row at their show in my mind. Bodies covered in sweat moving around in timely and untimely fashion. What I get from the music of Flesh Rag is that it is made for a live show. The day they come to England will be a bloody great day, but until then I live with the images in my mind that I have created. The power of music greater than we know, and that’s one of the many reasons as to why I adore the music that Flesh Rag make.
I wasn’t born when Punk first came around, but it’s always been the one style of music that owned my heart more than anything or anyone else could. I remember falling in love with the Ramones for the first time, I remember hearing Horses for the first time, I remember hearing the Sex Pistols and knowing that this was IT. Flesh Rag have brought up these feelings that I got the first time with those I’ve mentioned, and more. I feel like I’ve gone back to the 70s and been thrown into a world of chaos and fury. As someone who cannot settle into a daily routine, Flesh Rag are the perfect band to help me adjust. I’d take better care if I knew how. Panic attacks bring on migraines and migraines bring on panic attacks- music is the thing that eases it all out. Unless it’s a really bad migraine and all I can do is just sleep. You sometimes find yourself delving into thoughts and feelings when a band hits you in the gut for the first time, and with Flesh Rag I know that feeling is going to happen each time I listen to them. I’m pretty sure I got the last copy of the 7″ from AAR, so I’m sorry if you were looking for it- but to know that there’s a place for these guys makes it all worth it. Their music is the opposite of how I am, and I think that again, is part of my attraction to their music.
Matt’s gritty snarl on It Ain’t Enough is one of my favourite music based moments of the year. You can keep what the mainstream radio shoves down your neck and shove it up your you know where- I’d take a band like Flesh Rag over them any day. The sheer grittiness in the vocals and the angst in the drums, bass and guitar makes you want to start your own kind of noise. Some are adamant that Punk is dead. But for me, Punk is an attitude, a way of being not just the music. Bands like Flesh Rag are keeping it alive. Ignore all that “Pop-Punk” shit, that’s nothing. You need bands like Flesh Rag. Let them help you get through daily life by creating music for you to lob your limbs about to, sweat it out and throw your body into a wall as if your possessed. I’m fairly sure anyone who has seen their live shows are super lucky, so I’ll wait my turn. Live in my mind until it happens.
There have been many great records released this year, but as far as 7″ EPs go- Flesh Rag undoubtedly are the winners this year for the best release.
The self titled 7″ is out now on It’s Trash Records, and details for picking up a copy/streaming the release are here: