Fill Your Flask and Get Wrecked to Flood Peak’s New EP

Flood Peak Filling Flasks Cover

There’s something ugly brewing down in San Jose, and it sure as hell isn’t Gordon Biersch. I finally got my hands on Filling Flasks, the debut EP from Flood Peak, featuring Peter Layman, Mike McClatchey, and Jake Wright. I’ve been following Layman and McClatchey’s sonic endeavors very closely over the past 8 years (Clearing Autumn Skies, Something Must Die, Apiary, Early Graves) and they’ve always struck me as musicians who write ahead of the curve in the originality department. Flood Peak is no exception.

Filling Flasks is a 15-minute punch to the gut that begins with “Meandering”, a mechanized call-to-arms of an opener that gets you pumped off low, guttural chords and soapbox-screaming from vocalist Jake Wright. The pace is suddenly changed with “Closed Seas”, which proves that there is something quick and fierce in this band’s arsenal. There is definitely some Motorhead-influenced riffage going down on this song, as it makes for a killer soundtrack to drink a cheap, plastic handle of whiskey to.

“Scattering Crowds”, my favorite of the bunch, is the musical equivalent to having your face slammed into a concrete wall over and over. Everything from the D-beat drumming, the textured dissonant harmonics that has become a staple of any Layman/McClatchey project, and head splitting vocals makes this song an instant classic in my book. “Dust Breeder” continues that trend but with a little hint of punk groove to get those feet moving. The high feedback work and smashing breakdown at 0:43 will literally make you shit your pants.

Filling Flasks closes out with “The Waiting”, a pure, grimy, crust punk classic which features haunting bass lines and feedback riffs that will probably make the listener go completely deaf. Upon finishing the album, you are left with the feeling that you just went 10 rounds of drinking with Lemmy, got into a bar fight, was pummeled into a coma, and woke up three weeks later thinking, What the fuck just happened?” A re-listen of the album will do nothing to sooth the musical blue balls you will undoubtedly be left with… the ultimate dichotomy of a good EP.

The album was completely mixed, produced, and engineered by Mike McClatchey, with mastering being handled by Sam Pura over at The Panda Studios. I love how subdued and low the vocals sit in the mix, as they don’t overpower the rest of the music (sort of like Axe to Fall) and feature poetically dark lyrics. The mood of Filling Flasks reminds me of a more pissed off, heavier, and to-the-fucking-point version of Poison the Well’s The Tropic Rot, which is not a bad thing considering it was my favorite album of 2009.

To call this metal, although most people will, is kind of unfair, especially given the sad state of the current metal scene (read: it all sucks). The DIY attitude and raw energy of Flood Peak is almost too pure to be associated with the shit that most people consider “metal” nowadays. Thank goodness for bands like Flood Peak, Trap Them, Early Graves, Gaza, Converge, Black Breath, and The Secret; I’m becoming more and more convinced these bands will be to commercialized metal as grunge was to glam rock. I welcome it.

On a side note, I love how the album download comes with full artwork, liner notes, and lyrics, as it was probably geared towards a strictly digital release. I wouldn’t be surprised if this became the standard for the music industry down the road once we all wise up and stop buying our music in the form of archaic digital data storage.

I highly recommend you go buy a copy of Filling Flasks by Flood Peak. It’s super cheap. Don’t be a chump.

Wrecked Rating: 5 / 5

-BW

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