Monday, February 14, 2011

Flat Tires, Freeborn - Reviewed On Hellride Music

We are damn stoked to get such an amazing review of Flat Tires - Freeborn from Hellride Music. Read on...

"Hickory, NC’s leanest, meanest asphalt chompin’ outlaw punks the Flat Tires return with another slab of gritty rock n’ roll action called Freeborn! Every encounter I’ve had with the band’s music always leaves me feeling like I’ve won a brass knuckle clad, ballroom brawl, and was forced to drink a pint of moonshine straight as part of my reward.

This is a bit of a hodgepodge release compiling material from several different places and spaces. You get a couple of new cuts, and a handful of re-recordings culled from a recent studio session, an unreleased demo (“Don’t Shake Me Lucifer”), and a smattering of live favorites; all of which proudly brandish the usual fiery, punk rock guitar abandon, blazing southern rock leads, and filthy Clint Harrison vocal bile which are practically trademarks of the band at this juncture!

The new recordings smoke. Some favorites from the split 7” with Asound resurface (“GD Woman,” and the infectious “Crybaby”), and they are back sporting an even beefier, trouble makin’ tone. “Crybaby” in particular is the band at their absolute best, bulldozing through a whiskey soaked riff after riff attack, with the rhythm section providing a furious drive, as Clint spills out his hooked-filled tales of debauchery (the chorus in this song is as etched into my head as any number of Misfits and Black Flag songs).

As for the new tracks, they rank as some of the band’s fiercest scorchers to date. “Flu” latches onto a fierce boogie from the get go, as the band is seen combining equal parts G.G. and the Animals. It’s a mid-tempo, barnburner that pours some scummy, skuzzy punk overtop of a decidedly southern rock groove. As I once said, if listening to Social Distortion’s stuff is like being stuck in second gear to you, Flat Tires are your salvation (I’m actually a big fan of both, but Social Distortion really tanked themselves on that new record). It’s like someone took Social D’s Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell and pumped it up on amphetamines, and grain alcohol, and then allowed it to wander off blind drunk into one of G.G. Allin's punk rock maelstroms. Killer guitar leads are laced into the band’s punk rock two step, and the chorus on this one is about as filthy as anything Clint’s come up with yet (“You fucking virus, you fucking flu, take a mean, mean shit, I’m fucking done with you,”)!

The title track takes a scabby, rocked out riff, and picks it raw, until the green ooze, and red gush, start leaking out all over the place. The rhythm section stays deep in the pocket, and guitarist Bryon Smallwood snakes in some sizzling, rock cum punk lead work that always spices up the songwriting in just the right places, with Clint set on overdrive throughout. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, just a good fuckin’ solid punk rock beating from start to finish. Makes me want to take all of the stuff in my room, and throw it out the window all in the name of vicious rock n’ roll and good whiskey!

There’s also plenty of hellfire’s groove fueling the sharp n’ punchy “Two of Three Things,” which turns out to be another instant winner, along with a reworking of “Hypocrite (which appeared on Payin’ Dues…Again). How analytical can I be here? As the riffs collide over the syrupy, pancake thick rhythms, Clint Harrison’s voice beams down like a shining sun… Fuck that! Where there’s music I love, and review that calls for my poetic, can-hammed waxing…a spade is a spade…rock is rock…and the Flat Tires are an ass kicking southern-fried, punk rock boilermaker. While I still might drop a ton of words here (because that’s just the way the fingers work), there’s no disguising the fact that this is a rock band, plain and simple, and they plainly fucking rock, ladies and gents!

Rounding out the disc, a pot luck dinner including the strychnine swilling “Don’t Shake me Lucifer” demo cut, and 4 live tracks that span some of the crème de la crème from the blazing All the Right Enemies… full-length, provides a balanced, and varied diet of rock n’ roll oats. The live tracks from the band are always impeccably recorded, and carry a great deal of the energy over to the recorded medium, making me all the more excited to catch up with the band whenever they stop by Pittsburgh on April 2nd.

Freeborn, is another winning effort from Flat Tires. They’re one of my favorite punk acts currently dishing out the jams, and the excellent mix of fresh, and familiar on this disc will be sure to please the fanatics, and hopefully win over some newcomers in the process. If the new songs were any indication of where the band is headed, I’d say it’s down a path of even more frenzied, boozed-up rock n’ roll raunch. And man…it’s nice to have “GD Woman,” and “Crybaby,” on a format that’s ready for action in my broken down, piece of junk’s CD player. If you haven’t gotten on board yet, what the hell are you waiting for?! The brawl is on, the bottle is open, and rock n' roll beckons thee...let Freeborn lead you to the fray!"

- Jay Snyder