Music review: Never doubt the flats!

By Chay Appleyard

Review of Bow Flats EP Time is Money

IN the Spring of 2014, Bow Flats decided to go back into the studio to record three more songs to add to their catalogue. After recording three the year before, Bow Flats have decided to throw everything they have onto one digestible disc for your enjoyment.

Bow Flats are made up of Neil Davies (Guitarist/Vocalist), Neil Lewin (Bassist) and Tony Buckley (Drums and backing vocals). The band formed in early 2012. Bringing in years of experience from previous projects together.

The Band has a motto, “NEVER DOUBT THE FLATS”. There isn’t a need to tell us. There is enough evidence on “Time Is Money” to show that if you dig deep, you will find good, honest, vibrant local music. There is no need for intricate guitar parts or intense prolonged solos; it is not what the Flats are about. Just good, straight out and out rock and roll. Mind you, simplicity is brilliance. When going into the musical history cookbook, the ingredients that they use to build the sound stem from American alternative rock such as Foo Fighters, but then sprinkle the top with elements of Britpop’s Supergrass.

Citing the latter as a major influence, this is more than “Alright”. The band has written songs which tackle situations such as early memories of seeing the miners strikes  on TV and how Thatcher destroyed them (I Know What I Know), a close friend emigrating to Australia (Whole World Is Home), self doubt (Die In The Breeze) and a photograph of a drunken mate (Battle).

The Flats has chosen a track order which eases the listener in with two mellower tunes in “Die in the Breeze” followed by the tender “Out of Sight”. It is the latter stages of this six-track CD where it begins to pick up pace. The band decided to base the track order around their setlists when playing live. The pacier songs begin with the fuzz of Neil Lewin’s bass in the introduction of track three’s “I Know What I Know”. The Song is a tense affair, with Neil Davies going for a more aggressive vocal.

Throughout the EP the vocals are glossed over with the help of Tony Buckley’s harmonies which blend in nicely with Davies’ main vocal. Instrumental performance is strong, Buckley’s drums are powerful and add a lot of punch to the Flat’s sound. Particular highlights lay in Die in the Breeze, Ride and Battle. When describing the inspiration behind the song “Ride”, Neil Davies said “Getting away from home life, but realising that home, with all that is wrong with it, is the best place to be. The idea is that I can go far and wide in my camper, but my roots always pull me back”.

All six tracks on the EP were recorded at Creative Studios on the A128. It was recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Creative owner David Shalloe. The band also uses the studio to practice.

Theodor Adorno, part of the Frankfurt School in the 1920’s once said “If time is money, it seems moral to save time, about all one’s own, and such parsimony is excused by consideration for others. One is straight forward”. Show no parsimony and purchase this EP.

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