False Flags – Hexmachine

 

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HexMachine by False Flags is a self-released debut mini-album, although when you give it a listen it certainly doesn’t feel particularly mini, this packs some considerable force. False Flags rise out of the ashes of the once spectacular Leeds DIY scene consisting of former members of Red Stars Parade, Whores Whores Whores & Year Of The Man: so it certainly doesn’t feel like a debut either.

Opener ‘Earl Black’ starts slowly, a gentle intro stopped abruptly by a sucker punch of savage hardcore, crushing riffs and disjointed time signatures. Slamming guitars and shouty vocals scream their intent and it feels fresh and furious. Reminding me somewhat of the late great Beecher with a hint of Dillinger Escape Plan the track builds in its heaviness throughout.

Followed by ‘Last Screen Goddess’ which is slower but with a refined intensity rather than diminished. This pulses along rhythmically, swaying and mesmerising and constantly building. There’s enjoyment to be had being swept along with the song.

‘Fate (Has A Driver)’ starts off with pounding drums, but with a more understated yet infectious groove infused into snarling, but more straightforward rhythms: which get the head nodding along with ease. There’s a notable intensification in their ebb and flow particularly in the solid groove of the bass work as the song progresses.

When we get to track ‘Pet Wolf’ False Flags start to show off their hardcore chops in full fury, the shortest at 2:15 this screaming statement is a short sharp shock to the system, build a substantial weight to the track before pausing momentarily before launching into the stormy intensity of ‘Namedropper’, which subsides then screams and smashes against the ears with a blackened throb and erratic pulse, giving you just enough pause for breath before suffocating you again with their punch to the gut sound.

Final Track ‘Phone My Wallet’ steps things up yet another gear and undulates between the now familiar pulsing throb and out and out blasting of discordant riffs, this album finishes with the sound of the band giving everything they have and then some, until they have nothing more in the tank and rolling to a cathartic stop.

This may be a debut album, but there’s an all encompassing confidence about this which harks back to their history within the Leeds DIY scene. Definitely a band to watch out for in 2016.

 

7.5/10

 

RICH PRICE

Exclusive stream: False Flags new track ‘Pet Wolf’

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False Flags 2015

As the build-up continues ahead of the release of False Flags‘ debut mini-album Hexmachine, Ghost Cult are pleased to continue our association with the technical-hardcore miscreants from northern England by bringing you the stream of a new track, ‘Pet Wolf’ from the soon to be released mini-album.

Ghost Cult recently caught up with vocalist Chris Jenkinson (in a feature you can read here), who had this to say about the subject matter of their new outpouring:

The lyrics are kind of weird, really. Each song has a theme but they’re not really about anything in particular. Most of the time we come up with the title first, then I try to write around that. Charlie came in one day and said “Can we call a song ‘Pet Wolf’?” So that ended up being about one of my Chihuahuas being a little shit!

I’m a big fan of lyricists like Cedric Bixler (The Mars Volta) and John Congleton (The Paperchase) so I try to do that “interpret it how you like” kind of thing.

False Flags – ‘Pet Wolf’

Hexmachine, which the band will be releasing themselves,spurts abrasive, disjointed rock and takes inspiration from the likes of Unsane, Breather Resist, Botch and Coalesce. It will be released on 20th November.

The album launch show takes place at Bad Apples in Leeds, also on 20th November.

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Introducing… False Flags

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False Flags 2015

With their debut mini-album on the horizon, Yorkshire UK discordant hardcore newbies False Flagshave made available the excellent preview track, ‘Last Screen Goddess’ that turned heads at Ghost Cult towers. Vocalist Chris Jenkinson helped us piece the puzzle of the band together…

You all know each other from various bands (Red Stars Parade, Whores x 3, Year Of The Man) from a couple of years ago, so how did things come together, and considering you’ve had a break, why now?
We all met through playing gigs together in our old bands back in 2005ish. After all the bands split up, Charlie told me that he, Mark and our old drummer Kev were jamming some new material and I, being quite drunk at the time, said I would be up for doing vocals. The day after, I couldn’t remember saying that at all!

But I still joined anyway.

A year or so of writing and playing the occasional show, Kev left the band so we met Mike through advertising for a new drummer. We’re all in our mid 30’s now, so I think we just do this to get out of the house and hang out.

You’re self-releasing your mini-album. What does “DIY” mean to you?

DIY, to me, is just cutting out all the bullshit and stress that we’ve had in the past with regards to putting the mini-album out. It’s just so easy to put it out ourselves these days rather than trying to get a label to do it.

Speaking of which, Hexmachine is out on 20th November. What can people expect who don’t know about you?
It’s a pretty heavy, straight to the point record from start to finish but you can tell that there’s a structure to it. Rather than most math/hardcore records being all out nuts, we’ve kept it so you can follow what’s going on so its a tad more palatable. I think it’s an age thing really.

You’ve made lead-off track, ‘Last Screen Goddess’, available. Tell us about it, and what do you think it brings that maybe others don’t?
It’s one of the last tracks that we wrote for the record and it kind of just wrote itself. The name came from a headline in the newspaper when Elizabeth Taylor died so I wrote the lyrics about a fictitious character and what they would do to become a famous film star.

It’s pretty much a verse, chorus, verse tune which I don’t think many bands are doing in the DIY scene these days.

What bands do you relate to, and are there any in particular in mind when you’re looking in terms of what you want to emulate?
We’re still fans of the bands that we listened to when we were kids. Pixies, Nirvana, Deftones etc, so when it comes to writing I try to use the same dynamics with a cleaner vocal for the verses and then scream the “chorus”, but then put that into a hardcore band. I remember going to see The Chariot years ago and thinking, that’s the type of band I want to be in, so we bring that dynamic to the table too! Structured chaos!

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What’s the deal with the lyrics… Is it true you’re a bit random with them? Are you not worried about not connecting, or are the words just a means to an end? Or is it just trying to do something a bit different and not just bro-downing?
The lyrics are kind of weird really. Each song has a theme but they’re not really about anything in particular. Most of the time we come up with the title first, then I try to write around that. Charlie came in one day and said “Can we call a song ‘Pet Wolf’?” So that ended up being about one of my Chihuahuas being a little shit!

I’m a big fan of lyricists like Cedric Bixler (The Mars Volta) and John Congleton (The Paperchase) so I try to do that “interpret it how you like” kind of thing.

How’s it all fit together with your every day lives? What you guys up to outside of the band?

I have a Mrs, 3 kids, a mortgage and work 6 days a week, so for me this is just a hobby that I love doing and it’s the best way for me to still hang out with old friends. The older you get, you tend to drift away from your mates with settling down and stuff, so it’s cool that my partner still lets me go out and pretend to be in my 20s and fuck about in a band!

 

Hexmachine is out on November 20. You can pre-order here.

 

WORDS BY STEVE TOVEY