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Flyleaf - Flyleaf

Flyleaf, Flyleaf

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

TEXAS-bred quintet Flyleaf – vocalist Lacey Mosley, guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann, bassist Pat Seals and drummer James Culpepper – haven’t exactly burst onto the scene.

Their eponymous debut album was first released in the US in October 2005 and in the UK in May 2006. It was re-released with some acoustic tracks in the US in October 2007 and enjoyed better luck, so now it gets a re-issue in the UK under the guise of an exciting new band bursting forward.

The 12 tracks that make up Flyleaf can’t be faulted for emotion, encompassing everything from abuse, neglect, addiction, dysfunction and overcoming adversity. But it’s dreary themes and repetitive sound do it no favours whatsoever and there’s nothing to really help it stand out from a wide number of American alternative metal bands (from Paramore to Evanescene and so on).

Indeed, it’s not until final track So I Thought that the band deliver a really telling record, which finally manages to strike an enjoyable balance between the powerful riffs and the wailed vocals. Admittedly, it sets things up for the three-track acoustic set, which features softer versions of earlier tracks Fully Alive, All Around Me and Cassie. But it’s a case of too little, too late.

Mosley certainly has a decent voice and some of the guitar playing is good. But they seem a little too ready to conform, or emulate, established metal/rock conventions. Hence, album opener I’m So Sick opens with a moody bassline throbbing over a haunting, ethereal vocal, before exploding to life with a Goth-like scream and some crashing guitar riffs. By the time Mosley announces that she’s so sick of everything, listeners might already be inclined to agree.

Second track Fully Alive sounds like an extension of the same song with very little to differentiate the riffs, while Perfect is a pretty straightforward headbanger. Cassie is singled out in the PR as a particular highlight, thanks to its stop-start guitars, urgent backbeat and “exultant” chorus – but don’t believe the hype. It’s pretty formulaic and not anywhere near as thrilling as its assembly suggests.

We could go on, but you’ve probably got the jist. Flyleaf has very little to recommend it and there was probably a very good reason the album has needed two releases to gain some prominence. A support slot alongside Korn on their latest tour might help bring them some attention, but it may be short-lived.

Download picks: So I Thought, Cassie (acoustic)

Track listing:

  1. I’m So Sick
  2. Fully Alive
  3. Perfect
  4. Cassie
  5. Sorrow
  6. I’m Sorry
  7. All Around Me
  8. Red Sam
  9. There-For-You
  10. Breathe Today
  11. So I Thought
  12. Fully Alive (acoustic)
  13. All Around Me (acoustic)
  14. Cassie (acoustic)

  1. Oi! Spell Evanescence correctly! Apart from that, good review. :D

    Jay    Jan 15    #