Flower - Concrete Sky (1994)

Concrete Sky
1 Beauty Pt. II
2 Christmas Lights
3 Hologram Sky
4 All In Doubt
5 Memorial Day
6 Torch Song
7 Dazed
8 Vertigo
9 Christine Had A Dream
10 Empty Head
11 Ohio
12 Magick
13 Angel
14 Spiral
15 Million Feet Tall
16 Sliders
17 You Should Be Blind
18 Stop-Time
19 House
20 Concrete

Introduction

The best thing about music is that once in a while you will be surprised. Lately I had quite a lot of these moments and Flower is responsible for one such occasion. Browsing some 90s related blog site I listened through some of the mentioned bands and the first seconds of Flower made it clear to me: This might be one of those albums. After all these years that feeling has become somewhat reliable and it turns out Flower is indeed a band that produced 2 classic albums. Far away from the eyes of the public.

Concrete Sky is a compilation album, which features both of Flowers' full length albums on a single disc, released by Simple Machines in 1994.

The Sound

So what is it I am raving about? Classic Noise Rock. If Sonic Youth during their Daydream Nation period is something that appeals to you, believe me, this will too.

Flower's albums both sounded simliar, but still there was some noticable differences between the two. The first nine tracks of the compilation was originally released as "Concrete". The songs are mostly straight forward indie rock, very momoriable with good production and if you need a comparison, it's probably Pixies and The Wedding present that need to be mentioned. But yes, Sonic Youth lurk around the corner, which can be prominently heard on track 3 "Hologram Sky" or track 5 "Memorial Day".

From track 10 on their original "Hologram Sky" fills the rest of the disc. Production is tighter than on their debut album, guitars are punchier and with "Ohio" you will find the first real actual hit. Well, if the world was a fair place to be, at least. The bass is also more prominent than on Flowers' first outing. the vocals are more argessive, I dare say it: This has a grungy sound to it.

And then comes the revelation. From "Magick" onwards this might well be a Daydream Nation tribute album. And I mean this in the best possible way. It's no rip-off, but songwriting and style are very similar to that classic Noise album. Edgy, playful, and you will find yourself not being able to get those tunes out of your head.

What remains? Well, Concrete Sky is a must have for any Noise Rock fan. It's that easy and I consider their albums total classics already.

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