Fleshflower – at Lyon’s Den – Review


at Lyon’s Den
by Joey Ammo

Club-hopping tonight, we make it to the Lyon’s Den at 186 Harvard Ave. in time to see last-minute headliner, Fleshflower. They’re a band I’ve heard much about but never seen. It seems I may not see them tonight either ’cause my guest has forgotten her I.D. The doorman Mike, lets her in without a wristband after making me prove I’m actually from Lollipop (where’s that laminated pass, Scott?). I show him my pad and pen and in we go. When the doorgirls display the puppets they’ve drawn on their fingers and toes, I realize this has got to be a really dead one at the ex-Bunn’s. Whoever was here before us may have been driven out by the incredibly loud opener, Bison. To me, they’re just white noise, so hey baby, let’s head for the Tetris downstairs. A few beers later we head back up and take our seats for the main event.

If you follow bylines, you know my favorite word – integrity – and that’s the first impression that I get from Fleshflower. It’s something you feel rather than hear, and these guys just seem to have it. They open to the fifty or so patrons with an as of yet untitled tune (how about “Shit on Again”?) and the sound is similar to the familiar local hard stuff, but with more musicality and depth.

Vocalist/guitarist Doug Thoms has a real presence on stage with his long, frizzy hair and pork chop sideburns. The very next tune, “Car,” changes my concept of them. The vocal is like a stream-of-consciousness death poem which I’m told is different every time. Now I’m listening closer.

Unlike the scene-suffocating mass of one-dynamic death-metal/hardcore/punk no-talent spoiled college boys out there who get their dates and buzz exclusively on the circle jerk, Fleshflower has range and talent. Songs like “Addicted to Pork,” “Glass Eyes,” and “Mean It” prove this absolutely.

Schwartz and Thoms have seasoned and tasty chops and songs. You know there’s real content to them. They don’t let the thin turnout get them down; they pound through the set with authority, putting across each tune in a separate and meaningful way. Their tape is now on rotation at my house and I don’t think I’ll be a stranger to their shows anymore.