Only Flesh - From The Gutter To The Grave
So, are Only Flesh a real heir to the trash/glam/shock mantle or all style and no real bite? Are the nineteen songs on their latest release a generous scoop of decadence or an overkill of trying too hard? "From The Gutter To The Grave" will probably spark more questions too, which at least puts it somewhat above the mere stylish. Still, their mix of Bauhaus, NY Dolls and Hanoi Rocks is compelling, even when their sleaze doesn't please.
Roughly half of the songs are under two minutes, with half of those under forty seconds, so maybe the large number of tracks is not so generous. Most of those ("Glitch #1," "Glitch #2," etc) seem like sound bytes for songs or ideas the band thought were cool, but couldn't pull off.
Of the other songs, some titles give away the intent, at least. Is it edgy and daring or trying too hard to be so to name songs like "Saliva Lubrication," "Glamputation," "Crucivixens," or "Cocaine A Go-Go"?
The sound of Only Flesh is raw and trashy, with moments of brilliance that are hard to deny. When they are abrasive and grooving (ie, when guitarist Damien and drummer, um, Mutha F Kyle are front and center in the mix.3. Vocalist Revina Lower (the band began as a solo outing) squawks and testifies in metallic muffled, Ministry-esque fashion, though with little real menace.
Is it telling that most of the highlights in press releases for Only Flesh are of Revina's onstage exploits (hanging by hooks, being crucified) than the music? While their live show is probably a rowdy, fun spectacle, "From The Gutter To The Grave," for all its semi-moments of truth, may be best as a teaser for the visuals. Music is only half the story here.
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