By Mike Ryan
“Dallen told me that he saw an interview with Josh Homme where he said something along the lines of, ‘The worst thing you can do as an artist is become a cover version of yourself,’ and that has really stuck with us,” Jeremiah Bearhardt explains.
Bassist, Dallen Muise, together with keyboardist and vocalist, Erik Smistad, drummers and percussionists Calen Blondal and Jeff Oman, and guitarist, Bearhardt on guitar and vocals comprise the up-tempo rock group creating danceable and intricate tracks, and the group are on a path to revamp an already good thing.
Just over a year removed from their EP, Soak Me Like A Wave, the band found themselves with more material begging to be realized. With a framework of songs already in place and with a desire to take a different method of tracking into the studio with renowned local studio, Evius Studios (run by Eric Svilpis), the band was newly energized.
“We cut all the percussion first this time. In the past we would wait until the end to record tambourine, shakers etc., but we wanted these songs to have a prominent percussive element. After we had the performance from the kit that we wanted we tracked dumbeck, cahone, vibraslap, handclaps, and so on. Building the layers of percussion at the start really brought out the rhythmic drive in these songs,” Bearhardt says.
Their sound is one borne from a desire to keep things light in tone and “bumpy,” so fans and friends can feel inclined to dance to it; a sound not beholden to anything beyond representing a good time. Its bedrock is bouncy rhythms and slick guitars, underpinned with fat synth. While first track, “Blended Blue,” has a sunny disposition and charm built in with vocal harmonies riding on clean guitar tones just bouncing to the punchy four-count rhythm section. There is a road trip vibe to the track, lilting in the direction of staving off sadness with loved ones and remembering good times.
“Dusty Highway” is more searing an offering, with heavier guitar and drum work, synth, and its fair share of meandering breaks. The work of the lead keys and guitar are standouts here for their seemingly effortless shredding. Wah pedals, sharp guitar interplay, and rapidly “machine gun” layer work drive this song forward. This again feels like a trip, yet this time the group is off the beaten path to perhaps a slightly darker place. It’s urgent and expressive, and showcases the band’s skill and breadth of style.
Look for Flowshine to take these new endeavours to the stage with shows in Vancouver and Kamloops to wrap up the year before hibernating and planning another summer on the road.
Catch Flowshine on December 9th at the Dirty Jersey in Kamloops.AB, Alberta, BC, British Columbia, Dirty Jersey, Flowshine