Released: 7th May 2012
Label: Sweatshop Records/One Little Indian
I don’t think there’s been a debut album as loud and as brash as this. New band Flats releases its debut Better Living in the next couple months, and hopefully by then my ears will stop ringing after continually listening to it over and over. Better Living reveals the band adding a little change to the sound produced in their unsigned material, and also has touches of influence from old school heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Anthrax, Napalm Death and Crass (amongst others).
Everything about Better Living is frantic. The vocals are very often just screams, the drums sound as if a whole collective of drummers are pounding at the same time, and the guitars literally shred through your ear drums. This entire behemoth is captured in a production that is muddy but squashes all four elements together to create an even louder impact.
There’s nothing about Better Living that stops me loving the hell out of it. It’s full of riffs that are superb and really drive the songs into oblivion, the drums are perfectly aligned with the hammerhead bass and become a force of their own, and the vocals cap off what is an absolutely brutal experience. From the bass intro on single Foxtrot all the way down to the “HURGH!” on Crucifixion, the listener’s mind will be blown to smithereens, because it’s impossible not to be warped into the mindset of this dark and heavy beast. With every listen the only thing that decreases are the headaches (fortunately) but what does increase however is the amount of admiration you have for Better Living.