Even Flowers Kill is a Coventry based post-hardcore band, with many members originally coming from different bands in the local scene. Sat in front of me is their 2009 EP, Smile For The Camera and a more recent split with Birmingham lot The Fall, The Rise which was released in February this year. I’m going to crack open both and find out what EFK are all about.
Smile For The Camera is an assault. Opening track, ‘Ruth Has Information That Will Destroy You’ is deceptive (apparently like the Ruth it’s named for) – it starts off slowly and atmospherically before the monitor flatlines and some crushing guitars and vocals enter in. Probably the least heavy and most melodic song on the EP, it lulls you into a false sense of security before the rest destroy all of your preconceptions. An electronic presence is first felt in this track, but it doesn’t overwhelm here or in the rest of the EP. Nevertheless, the electronics add a completely new and interesting element to the sound. This carries through especially to the next track, ‘I Love You Kerry McKenna, Please Come Home (And Bring The Kids) with some incredible clean vocals and a sneaky electronic breakdown before an intense middle section. There’s a clear The Fall Of Troy influence in the guitar tone and frenetic riffs throughout the EP and it’s probably the most noticeable in this track, but the spoken word sections and great musicianship stop it from straying into copycat territory.
The third track, ‘Dick Wang Is A Dirty Stinking Liar (What Octopus)’ is full of cheeky Goonies references, from its title to some great gang cries along the lines of “HEY YOU GUYS!” Despite cranking the amps up to 11 for the most part, the song ends with an incredible melodic sequence – for those who think that the ‘mathcore’ tendencies might be a bit inaccessible, this proves it all wrong. While it’s obvious that EFK can play well, this is proof that they can certainly write well. Track number four, ‘Machiavelli vs. The Little Prince’ is again, deceptive. It starts off calm with a slight jazzy tone before moving right into a punishing chugging riff and some seriously throaty growls. The breakdown towards the middle of this is absolutely incredible and one of the most intense moments on the EP. Final track, ‘I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge’ holds true to its name and is utterly relentless the whole way through. The screams towards the end are utterly harrowing and EFK take all the risks in this, interjecting moments with harmonica and messing about with some crazy time signatures. It all pays off though to create an increasingly intense experience. In a way, the inclusion of a bonus track seems off – the EP itself is well rounded without it. The bonus track itself is a great song, with the same kind of melodic thread running through it as the rest of the songs but perhaps should have been included amongst the rest as opposed to being put at the end.
The split with The Fall, The Rise is equally as impressive as the EP. The Fall, The Rise’s half of the split counterbalances EFK’s perfectly – it’s far less heavy but equally as well crafted and is reminiscent of At The Drive In’s softer moment with some Foo Fighters thrown in for good measure. The second track, ‘A Selfish Man’, in particular has a great chorus and some catchy moments in the bridge. Perfect driving music. Nevertheless, EFK’s half of the split has more of an edge and just takes the spotlight. ‘Song For Brad Svoboda’ is the most atmospheric song on offer here, opening with some dark Western style guitars and a heartfelt spoken word goodbye to a good friend. The sudden shift from this to pounding guitars and gut-wrenching screams is incredible, fully demonstrating the pain of grief that the song is desperate to portray alongside an honest and touching eulogy. ‘By The Jaw Of St Jerome’ is the most technically impressive song from the EFK collection as they pull out all the stops in an aggressive attack on your ears. ‘Play For The Angels’ features yet another incredible breakdown and rounds off an excellent collection of tracks. Only one complaint – the whole EP has been mixed far too quietly!
Even Flowers Kill are an impressive band. If you like your music to be challenging yet melodic, aggressive yet heartfelt and beautifully written to boot, then EFK are the band for you. Perfect for both the darkest depths of winter and the height of summer, the two releases here are more than relevant right now. Pick it up if you’re a fan of good music.
4 out of 5 high fives!
Check out the split between The Fall, The Rise and Even Flowers Kill at Damage Limitation Records