Flesh World provide the answer to a question that, honest to god, I ask from time to time: Can I get 80s goth-punk supergroup Lords of the New Church but without all that toxic sexism and clichéd punk sneer? “Into the Shroud,” the title track of Flesh World’s new album, shows the California band dwelling in anthemic minor chords, ringing guitars, thundering drums, and gauzy-not-harsh production — territory that the Lords, Theatre of Hate, and their post-punk cohort worked so well. Yet Flesh World don’t want to revive this particular sound so much as détourn it. The old arrogance and aloofness is turned inward, well suited for Flesh World’s queer narrations and aesthetic occupations.
I’m really digging the new purpose that Flesh World and others of their millennial cohort (Priests come to mind, for one) are bringing to punk rock. On Into The Shroud, tracks like “This Great Cheap Face” (a paean to doomed John Waters actress Cookie Mueller) don’t really waver from the formula they set up for themselves, but the band’s creative fidelity to this sound is kinda refreshing. They’re on tour now — go see them in the flesh.
FLESH WORLD ON TOUR: 9/15: Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
9/16: Madison, WI – The Frequency
9/17: Detroit, MI – El Club
9/18: Ann Arbor, MI – WCBN
9/19: Toronto, Canada – Baby G
9/20: Montreal, Canada – La Vitrola
9/21: Easthampton, MA – Flywheel
9/22: New Haven, CT – Three Sheets
9/23: Brooklyn, NY – Trans-Pecos
A sociology professor living in upstate New York, Leonard Nevarez is patiently waiting until his kids are old enough for a family roadtrip to Maryland Deathfest. He blogs at musicalurbanism.org and is writing a book about Martha & the Muffins and the late 70s/early 80s downtown Toronto music scene.