Monday, August 15, 2011

REVIEWS: THE FLING - WHEN THE MADHOUSES APPEAR

"When The Madhouses Appear"
Artist: The Fling
Title: When The Madhouses Appear
Year: 2011
Genre: Rock
Rate: 7

Review: The Fling doesn’t sound like a band that would come out of California. Hailing from Long Beach, the quartet’s sound is Americana infused with folk and psychedelic rock that often brings to mind imagery of a road trip through the heartland. When the Madhouses Appear is the quartet’s full-length debut, and it comes self-released from their own Lady Monk Records.

“Friend of Mine” opens the debut with some airy harmonies and intermingled acoustic and electric guitar textures that just might disclose why the band is called The Fling. Typically, if there’s a fling involved, then it’s a summer dalliance. Lead single “Wanderingfoot” is a delightfully unrestrained Southern rock jam, complete with the lovelorn twang of lap steel. The group dabbles with a little bit of their more subdued country sensibilities, and the twangy voices of Dustin and Graham Lovelis can sound as yearning as their name implies on songs like “Devil’s Man” and “Elinor,” with the latter featuring guest vocals from Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit.

One particular highlight arrives within the pure Americana-esque “Strangers”, with the harmonies of the Lovelis brothers at their most affecting. But, that’s not all. The Fling switches gears some and injects some psychedelia to the mix, as apparent on “Dry the Rain”, with the swirled melodies and marxophone accompaniment recalling The Beatles’ later years.

With a dozen tracks clocking in at under 40 minutes, When the Madhouses Appear is just long enough to showcase the Long Beach quartet’s sound without letting it wear out its welcome. In sum, The Fling’s debut acts as another noteworthy destination along the recent road of Americana revival.

Tracklist: 1.  Friend of Mine; 2.  Wanderingfoot; 3.  Strangers; 4.  Nothing Makes Sense; 5.  Elinor; 6.  No Sleep; 7.  Out of My Head; 8.  Dry the Rain; 9.  Day I Find; 10. Cold Comfort; 11. Spooks; 12. Devil's Man.


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