Review: The Dead Flags – You Got It Wrong EPTweet
You might not have heard of the Dead Flags, yet. The band first graced our ears in 2008, pawning their demo around until someone finally started to listen. That someone was a producer at 2FM, earning the band a slot on the station’s ‘Next Big Thing’ showcase. They may not have become the next big thing, but they’re heading in a promising direction.
The Dead Flag’s new EP, ‘You Got It Wrong’, follows their debut album ‘Gentlemen’s Club’, which was released in April of last year. Since then, the band have dropped from a threesome to a twosome, leaving just singer/guitarist Billy Fitzgerald and bassist David Power to hit the studio with adopted drummer, Paul Byrne. The fruits of their labour have produced a fresh and fun new direction for the band. Here we have two new tracks, along with a remix of one of their better-received songs, ‘Let’s Start A Fire Tonight’.
While the band have previously sung about cheating on girlfriends, girls giving them hangover head or joining them in a ‘no pants dance’ three quarters of this EP seems to be a growth spurt, with the band ditching questionable attempts at witty, laddish lyrics. First, we open up with “I love you more than you know, I just don’t know how to show you”. Later they’re ‘crying in their pillows’, holding women close and showing them ‘what it’s all about’. Almost a parody of a turnaround, but a welcome one.
Title track, ‘You Got It Wrong’ is an up-tempo and energetic composition, reminiscent of 50s rock in its heyday. The infectious hooks instantly transport you to a retro dancehall, complete with swing dancing, bouncy hair, and rockabilly attire. Fitzgerald’s voice is at its best here, and seems to be perfectly crafted to pop-rock pacing. With masses of ‘woooooahs’ and ‘ooooooohs’, this one won’t be leaving your head anytime soon.
‘What’s It All About’ is a little more unsure of itself, bringing us swiftly back to reality after our bout of bop. While its overall sound is pretty generic, the song redeems itself in fun harmonies and a stripped-down feel that cunningly replicates the feeling of an impressive live recording.
As a fan of the original, I was expecting to dislike Jack Samson’s remix of ‘Let’s Start A Fire’. However, the Irish self-described ‘astrosexfunk’ pioneer gives a welcome injection of synth to the song’s rock foundations, perfectly marrying both genres to the overall pop feel of the track—a delicious combination—almost on par with the piercing original. This isn’t the first remix of the song, with two appearing on the ‘Ladies’ Night EP’, by Stellarsound and Holy Roman Army, which are both worth a spin themselves.
If this EP is an indication of what’s to come for the Dead Flags, I’d keep a very close eye on them. You got it right this time lads.