"I don't know what specific ideas we had in mind regarding our band and our sound or our philosophy, but we definitely knew we didn't care about getting laid and playing 'friendly' music"
- Drinking Flowers
Bands often get in touch with Third Outing and ask us to review their music and it’s great. But sometimes Third Outing hear of a band, are blown away by their work and we find them. This week Third Outing discovered Drinking Flowers, and we went to them to find out more!
Picture a mad Mexican Elvis with a funny moustache and floral shirt, backed up by the cast from the Breakfast Club, then we are all on the same page; Drinking Flowers. Image complete. But what of the sound? Okay, think of a smooth formulated blend of The 13th Floor Elevators mixed with a dash of The Telescopes, add a brilliant The Brian Jonestown Massacre pop chemistry and there you have the raw blueprint for Drinking Flowers, the next band you'll listen to on repeat, we promise.
From the moment we begin to talk with the LA 5 piece a clear sense of knowledge and refreshing ambition is evident. They know where they want to be. It all began for Drinking Flowers in 2011 when front man Alexander met drummer Dominick at a new job. They started a band but it did not quite work out, by their own admission certain members were "into some heavy stuff and went kind of crazy. Drugs are weird". But after a restructure and the addition of the next Kim Deal on bass then things started to look up for the LA group. Excuse the obvious botanical metaphor, but the most arid of environments often create the most terrific of blooms; Drinking Flowers.
The band released their first EP 'Sanity Restored 72' in May 2013 with drones and fuzz reminiscent of Spacemen 3 and Black Lips. However, their latest EP 'Shadow Show', under the supervision of Lolipop Records and Lucas Drake of Dagha Bloom, showcases a clear shift of sound focusing on a greater variety of complex melodies and riffs. The end result is the pleasing moment when a band finally discovers its own true voice.
Even before listening to 'Shadow Show' the artwork gives you a clear sense of style and originality. A Kurt Cobain type reading a novel surrounded by all the perfectly imperative post punk props; a bottle of wine, a baguette, a bunch of grapes and oh yes that hand revolver. Something all seems rather French here? Anyway, the accompanying music is just as outstanding. The opening track 'Understand' drives the theme of the album with twang guitars and the "give a fuck" drum patterns; a perfect compliment to front man Alexander’s flicked rock intonation. This spirit continues in the follow up tracks, another stand out being the hypnotic eponymous day dream chorus of 'Your Head is Reeling'. However, the hands-down hit single is 'Pop Underground', a track which perfectly captures the whole point of post-punk cool guitar music; protest! From 'Pop Underground':
We don't want your elections, we don't want your protection,
We don't like your direction, we want a signed confession.
Maybe I'll leave, maybe I'll stay, it hardly matters anyway,
If you don't shape up I'll be an ex-pat real soon.
For keen ears the track will remind people of Supergrass' 'Pumping On Your Stereo', and that comparison is a compliment which can only underline the importance of bands like Drinking Flowers who experiment and create the new with the old, something which not enough bands are capable of doing.
"When it comes down to it you really have to ask yourself why you're making music, and I don't think these bands have a satisfactory answer for their existence. We're a group on a mission and I think people notice that and maybe that's what sets us apart".
Drinking Flowers are continuing to play an important role in the LA revival along with other artists such as Ariel Pink, FIDLAR and Warpaint. Where most bands seems to be producing a 60's revival, LA is experiencing a revival of all genres fronts; Shoegaze, Punk, Death-rock and many many more. The LA style reflects coolness, attitude and arrogance. And right now Drinking Flowers should rightly flaunt all three.
'Shadow Show' by Drinking Flowers, 9/10.
Photos copyright of Louis Fisher © and/or Drinking Flowers