Tuesday, December 15, 2009
#2 Album of 2009: Fleurs - Former Ghosts
Upset the Rhythm.
SCQ Album Review
If Former Ghosts were aiming to make a pretty record, they picked one hell of a way to go about it. Here’s a record as jagged and abrasive as rusted knives, built-up and broken down like the last desperate phone-calls of a dying relationship. Snare hits sound like rulers against chalkboards, synths buzz like haywire band-saws, and Freddy Ruppert’s vocals sound torn-up, inside-out, even underwater. Regardless of the album’s sweltering slow-burners (‘Choices’) and pounding anthems (‘Hold On’), the entirety of Fleurs is driven on urgency, as tangible and obsessive as a past too recent and complicated to forget. Musical reference points range everywhere from The Cure’s Faith to Xiu Xiu’s The Air Force but what’s unavoidable and impossible to duplicate is Fleurs’ inherent prettiness; that out of dire, brutal situations can arise a life-or-death beauty unattainable to anyone remotely comfortable.