Infectious . . . A Gem . . . Unique . . . Masterful Storytellers . . . Excellent
Songwriting . . . Artists . . . Musically Brilliant . . . Emotionally Stirring . . . Lovely Harmonies . . . just a few words to describe Indie Rock band Flight Brigade's new studio album 'Chased by Wolves'! It will be released tomorrow Friday 13th
September on Rebel Cinema Records via Wixen Music Publishing. The new albumfollows their debut album 'Our Friends Our Enemies' (2016) and a number of
singles. I first heard them play in March this year at Camden's Dingwalls on a photo assignment and this band continues to be the highlight of the year and thenew release does not disappoint. The gig itself was truly spectacular. For a relatively unknown band performing, sadly, to a small, but very appreciative
audience, to pull off a professional, energetic and enthusiastic performance is
very rare and Flight Brigade definitely delivered that.
The only problem I had reviewing this album, and it was a serious problem, is that I couldn't stop from repeating each song multiple, multiple times. It took a
long time to get through the album, but thankfully to the excellent narratives
(read the narrative for the song 'Sirens') of each song on this album
(www.flightbrigade.com), and very late nights, I heard each song . . . multiple
times! It really is my favourite album in years, it is excellent. I know we all have
different perspectives; we hear differently but I would encourage you to listen to
this album; you won't be disappointed. I still don't understand what in the world people see in the Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds' but I must be wrong as it is widely
considered to be among the most influential albums in the history of music . . .
Music for me has always been about transport . . . transporting me to difference
. . . difference from where I was, who I was and who I wanted to be, to change my emotions or to give me energy or the ability to relax . . . music is a gift for us all. Ithas been a privilege to listen to this album - it transports! Flight Brigade’s sound
has been described as distinctive as it is unique. Infectious melodies and hooks
flow through songs that at times exude fierce energy, and at others gentle
poignancy. With grand orchestral sweeps embracing crunching, anthemic guitars,vocal harmonies, strings and vintage synths, their explosive live performances
feel like it’s their last day on earth! Beautiful melodies, lovely and soaring vocal
harmonies, superb musicianship with crafty songwriting and musical
arrangements, Flight Brigade's music will certainly appeal to a wide cross section of music lovers. Their music has a real punch!
Flight Brigade is a Hampshire based seven-piece band of family members and friends. At the core of Flight Brigade is an actual family. Ollie (on vocals and
rhythm guitar) is married to Miriam (vocals/synth), whose sister Dorry Macaulay sings and plays violin. All three grew up in a hippy commune in Hampshire, while bassist Tom Clay, guitarist Thomas Pink, keyboard player Jonny Barker and
drummer Neil Blandford were childhood friends who lived nearby. Think of FlightBrigade as a family and you start to understand the chemistry between them.
Consider their songs as epic stories to which each member is essential, and you
begin to grasp what makes their music so powerful.
Other reviewers have described their dreamy vintage synth melodies, striking
mix of vocal harmonies and dramatic violin infused soundscapes having a
contemporary sound that conjures up images of the likes of Arcade Fire, the
alluring anthemic style of The Killers and Fleetwood Mac, whilst Ollie’s intense,
storytelling lyrics set them apart. Touring extensively and playing the major UK
festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival and The Great Escape, Flight Brigade
have garnered a reputation from fans and critics alike for exceptional and
explosive live performances. One such performance, at ‘The Castle’ in
Manchester in March 2017 caught the ear of esteemed producer Chris Porter
(George Michael, Elton John, Bowie). Porter promptly invited the band to record
this second album at the Visconti Studio.
The band’s new release, 'Chased by Wolves', includes intriguing stories but also
hits a more personal nerve. Songwriter and lyricist, Ollie Baines draws from his
own experience of the beauty and fragility of relationships ('Heartbreaker', 'Tinderbox') and surviving unlawful advice from the ‘wolves’ of the music industry ('Chased By Wolves'). 'Brainwave' pays homage to Seth Baines, brother of lead
singer Ollie, and his courageous battle with epilepsy. Thomas Pink combines
magnificently with Ollie on guitar on this genuinely Rock 'n' Roll song. Since the
album was recorded, Seth was diagnosed with brain cancer and tragically passed away in November last year. The album is dedicated to Seth, the band’s brother,
videomaker and greatest supporter.
As for 'Sirens' . . . my eyes began to leak when I read the narrative to this song,
personal experiences in my life as a therapist reminded me of the frailness that
one may be experiencing and their closest loved ones may not even be aware. I
have been in those rooms when they became "hushed" - still some of the most
powerful moments I have experienced. Then listening to the craftmanship of the song and the lyrical content - it was such an accurate description of life being stuck in addiction or mental challenges. I hope this song gets the attention it
deserves in an age where social media has become so influential in how our
children maintain their mental health. The song, 'Stranger Things', is described asoriginating in the bleary half light of a 5am start. I was woken by my one year old,turned on the radio and heard a sequence of morning news reports; ‘Trump’s
latest tweet, more fake news and an update on the Brexit saga’. All that just mademe think, 'Is this sleep deprivation or have pirates taken over this ship?'. We
surely will see stranger things to come.
'Alligators' is a grandson’s tribute to his veteran grandfather. The song follows thestory of Leslie James Pink, our guitarist's grandfather, who at 17, disguised his
age so he could join the Royal Air Force during World War II. 'Where Eagles Dare'
is my favourite song so far, my iPhone has even asked that I take it off repeat,
phones are getting much to smart. This song could become one of their Rock
anthems, a powerful, celebratory Rock song with arena Rock sound potential andwhen the chorus starts at the 33 second mark, I think you will agree. I get
transported to the middle of 20,000 music lovers pumping their fists in the air as I envision the band performing on stage this epic song.
'How Your River Runs Through Me' is a song based on Cormac McCarthy’s
novel ‘The Road’ which particularly resonated with Ollie after the birth of his and Miriam’s first son, Coen. He places himself and Coen in the post apocalyptic
world which he so masterfully creates and they are journeying to the coast in search of a community that could be their last and only hope of survival.
'Creature' is steeped in the band’s shared love of Tolkien. The song pays homage to the mystical world of Middle Earth and describes a scene where someone is
running through a wood and encounters a mythical creature that offers passage
to an eternal, alternative world, much like the Elven Blessed Realm in Lord Of TheRings. The only thing holding that person back from accepting the offer is their
love of someone mortal, even though that love has always been unrequited.
In a review by New Sick Music they stated . . . Flight Brigade is on a warpath to
making history… a bit of Muse, compared to My Morning Jacket, but ultimately what we hear is a dark, orchestral and narrative-driven tour de force! 'Chased By Wolves' is another step in that warpath . . . now where is my iPhone!