Picture keyboards, dance beats, punk attitude, a bit of soul, and a garage feel. Then add the Bible, a contrasting lack of reverence, New York City arrogance, and a morbid agenda. That’s The Flesh in a nutshell, if a nutshell can contain them. They come at you from all angles. And with the barrage they throw at you, it is hard not to find something about them to like. After releasing two EPs on separate labels, The Flesh put together this, their first full-length, eponymous album.
Lead vocalist Nathan Halpern sings with energetic desperation throughout the album, punctuating nearly every line with “baby.” He also mans the guitar, but the most valuable band member might be Gabriella Zappia with her keyboards and voice. Her contrasting vocals provide a refreshing break from Halpern’s tense lyrics. The band rounds out with Gregory Rogove on drums and Jason Binnick on bass.
The band comes out swinging with “Love Your Fate” and doesn’t let up until it’s over. It’s an intense ride through love and death, full of energy, passion and sexual tension. The album comes up short of half an hour but leaves you exhausted after its ten tracks. Song titles like “Death Connection,” “Gallows” and “Death Ship” give you an idea of the group’s darker side.
In “Love Your Fate,” The Flesh tell you to “get down, down in the water” while throwing around ideas of looking for God on a mountain, putting on flesh and baptism. It’s an interesting combination of Scripture and insolence that finds its way into many of the songs. The next track, “Death Connection,” talks about salvation, salivation, resurrection, love infection, and of course death connection. In “The Lack,” Halpern tackles the issue of sin as he proclaims, “The sins of fathers/Fall on the sons/The sins daughters/Fall on everyone.”
Other album highlights includes the dialogue between Halpern and Zappia in “Sweet Defeat.” “I want to tell you that I love you baby,” he says. She counters with “I don’t want to know.” The album features strong tracks throughout and definitely benefits from its consistency. They slow down the pace somewhat in “Fall to Heaven,” but Halpern comes off no less intense. The faster pace resumes for the last two tracks, which come around quick. The brevity of the album actually suits the style well and adds to the experience. Halpern ends with “Death Ship” as he shouts, “Get up into the bow/We’re going to hit it now/Your death ship’s sailing out.”
The Flesh are strangely dark, yet upbeat, and produce a solid album that’s hard to resist.