Every morning when I wake up the first thought I have is “well, I wonder if today is the day I’m going to die” – this mantra is not an exercise in morbidity or a plea for some kind of help, it is an essential part of my existence. To avoid cliché I won’t focus too heavily on this topic but I feel it is vital for me to spotlight that death, however frequent or infrequent it is in your thoughts, motivates everything. It inspires the two essential building blocks of life which is choosing either love or fear. To reduce life to two rather basic emotions may seem absurd but in my opinion somehow each day we manage to latch on to some kind of death coping mechanism. It is these distractions that help further our fear of the unknown and that one day all of this will fade and each human we encounter will slip into the beautiful realm of nothingness to discover whether god has a face or if this ocean of chaos is merely leading us to the ultimate realm of blank peace. I end my day in the very same way, with the same mantra only this time I’m wondering if “tomorrow” will be the day that I die. Treating life like it is indeed borrowed time allows for a great amount of beauty to visit every second of your existence, death is and always will be the ultimate muse.
In the spring of 2015 I discovered an EP by a band called Full Flower Moon Band – the name of that EP is “CHINATOWN EP” and I think it is the perfect soundtrack to my morning (and late night) mantra. It is an EP that truly communicates the power of music and if anything signals just how important a band like Full Flower Moon Band is to the equality movement that so many human beings preach about. I could be totally off in this assumption but I like to think that Full Flower Moon Band themselves are big believers in eradicating the redundant restrictions of musical genres because anyone who has an open heart and open mind will hear their EP and see it as one of the most pure movements of music ever released.
It’s taken me a while to write this review because I wanted to make sure that like Full Flower Moon Band I take the time to communicate just what is important about their music. I understand that on the surface people will only hear the sounds of a dusty lo-fi psychedelic pop band, but dig deeper and you’ll hear that Full Flower Moon Band managed to make the first real modern classic. I was not present when bands like Slint and My Bloody Valentine released their landmark records (“Spiderland” and “Loveless”) and I came to Slayer long after they released “Reign In Blood” but I have no doubt that “CHINATOWN EP” will not only be as influential as those records but that people will come to see that Full Flower Moon Band destroyed, erased and improved (to steal a Meshuggah line) music as an art form.
The reason why these above bands are important to me illustrating the importance of “CHINATOWN” is because the albums these bands released allowed for music to be presented in a different light. A record like “Spiderland” by Slint for instance is a truly mysterious record and over time has become incredibly influential to evolving how humans hear and perform rock music. The same can be said about “Loveless” by My Bloody Valentine and “Reign In Blood” by Slayer. These albums presented new ideas on how to make the simple amalgamation of guitar, bass, drums and vocals work and in the process birthed such genre titles as post-rock, math-rock, shoegaze and thrash metal. I don’t think I’d be too foolish for saying that Slint, My Bloody Valentine and Slayer changed the game totally and offered new sounds and dynamics to the rock n roll text book.
In 2015, Full Flower Moon Band became the first band in 20 years to release an EP as life changing and important to the evolution of music as the above mentioned artists (and countless others of course). What “CHINATOWN EP” represents is how music, at least rock n roll, should have evolved. There is nothing retro or throwback about the music played by Full Flower Moon Band and over the course of 5 songs they manage to showcase a brilliant understanding of emotionally fuelled psychedelic guitar rock.
The music presented on “CHINATOWN EP” is an epic journey of pink steam meditations on beauty and destruction. First you’ll travel the distance of time given colour and shape by your memories. The canvas is full of faces and places their personalities controlled by the beat of a panic radiating like a thousand rising suns deep beneath your heart. Your brain will gather lovers of all kinds to fill them with the soul of a million demons bleeding rushing to be released from the daggers possessing the peacock’s eye planted within their looking glass soul, essentially trading arms for snakes. The venom of these memories attacks with a bite fresh from the teeth of confusion as mirrors crack and re-align with the curse of loneliness. These vibrations are ripe with footprints left from old waves of thought dripping the haunting manifestation of 32 deaths re-born. Silent screams become amplified, as panic becomes the river from which your exploded heart bleeds. Death tastes like heartache as you shake the dreams from your reality. Re-born in human form as you remain comfortable in the purgatory moments building the bridge to the place, because you’ve seen her face – and then you arrive in peace and as the blissed intensity of closing track “Chinatown (title track)” draws to a close you start to understand what shuffling off this mortal coil both sounds and potentially feels like.
I’m of the opinion that death fascinates us all because it is the one emotion or feeling that we can’t experience yet it is the one thing that we all have in common. No matter our journey or position in life we are all coping with the fact that we’ll die. Learning to cope with that one and only truth can lead humans to chase many different things. For me it is music and every so often you are delivered a movement of divinity so special that you think that just for a brief moment that death and all that leads you to it is a fucking beautiful series of events.
“CHINATOWN EP” by Full Flower Moon Band is pure Dadaism and the way pop music needs to sound in this modern era.
8 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10
By: Dan Newton
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fullflowermoonband/
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/fulllfowermoonband