Under Review

Flashlight Brown

Blue

Hollywood Records

Review By John Park


Boy, is this a lot of fun! None of the songs are masterpieces, but man, we’re talking garage punk done well. Originally from Guelph, Ontario, four college dudes named Fil, Mike, Matt and Tim formed Flashlight Brown “out of boredom” and spent the next 6 years struggling until scoring a contract. And lucky for us! From the first opening riff, Flashlight Brown delivers a 40-minute dose of party punk that engages anyone who’s into rock.

Most tracks on Blue are basically in the same mold: refreshingly loud and let-out-your-gut rock (I refuse to use the term “emo”), and frequently anthemic. There’s about a billion rocking choruses that one can sing along to, from the good (“Frankie’s Second Hand”) to the great (“Save it for Later”) to the awesome (“Sicker”). Whether this is true or not, “I’m Not Sorry” really sounds like drunk college frat boys giving their all.

Of course, the flip-side to all this blast is that the album suffers from lack of variety in music styles and genres. You may get excited from engaging in all the energy. The only different (not to mention quiet) track, in fact, is the ironically titled “Loud Music.” But what the hell, I’m very satisfied. No stupid string arrangements or brass accompaniment that most rock artists suck at. No sappy ballads (or even worse, power ballads) that make you reach for the toilet. If you are a rock lover, I recommend a dosage of one full listen of Blue for every 7 other albums you listen to. Increase dosage to 2 if you listen to mainstream radio.