Flood of Red - Leaving Everything Behind

Richard Wink 30/11/2009

Rating: 3/5

Carrie Brownstein wrote an interesting piece (in here blog here) regarding the perfection of modern music recording, bemoaning how nowadays there are seldom any mistakes, inconsistencies or natural quirks, even bedroom bands can release faultless compositions thanks to the wonders of modern technology. Brownstein ponders how potentially the essence of rock, the friction, the edge is slowly being sanded away, leading to an age of dull music.

You see big sounding, polished production doesn't always equate to quality, but we all know that. At the same time there are thousands of ramshackle bands that are let down by sloppiness, ineptitude and dreadful production. For many rock bands, the key is to find the right balance between rough and smooth. In order to do just that Flood of Red acquired the services of Brian McTernan, a producer that has successfully allowed bands to make the transition between raggedy to epic; this has been represented by his work with the likes of Darkest Hour, Thrice, Senses Fail, Hot Water Music and Strike Anywhere.

Flood of Red's vocalist Jordan Spiers possesses an intriguing voice, on first impression it seems fey, however as time goes on he sounds rather like Mars Volta and ATDI front man Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Spiers carries this record on the back of his frothy cords, and without his distinct tone you feel Flood of Red would be just another run of the mill rock band.

The rampant 'The Harmony' kicks the album into gear, followed by the energetic battle cry of 'A Place Before The End'. Immediately the crisp production presents an almost orchestra feel, with guitars shimmering against echoing percussion. Nowhere is this best presented then on the impeccable 'The Heartless and Loving'. Melodies and harmonies cross paths and aggression morphs into passion, an encouraging start.

Trouble is the album becomes a little bloated after 'Paper Lungs'. Drum rolls and rhythms are recycled, and tracks like 'I Am The Speechless' veer close into 30 Seconds to Mars / Lostprophets territory. Nonetheless 'Home, Run (1997)' and the curdling 'The Edge Of The World' closes the album strongly. Standing at the edge of the precipice, Flood of Red, a band without much of a reputation have gambled big time by employing a name producer and attempting to sell the album in an assortment of packages, in the short term it will be interesting to see if that gamble pays off.