This has all the makings of an art-addled band that I would more-often-than-not stomp the precious stuffing out of gleefully. Just the fact that it is obviously a direct descendant of the mid-’70s New York proto-punk art bands (eg: Television, Patti Smith) is enough for me to feel no remorse in publicly demonstrating my utter and colorfully violent contempt for it and all the other extant progeny of that saggy, sorry cultural genre. This disc is oozing with overly relaxed, melancholic Leonard Cohenish new wave that features keyboards aplenty and a singer who kind of reminds me of Iggy Pop back when he did that love ballad with that gal from the B-52’s. It is quirky, haunted, smoky, with just the slightest hint of a pulse — and I actually kind of like parts of it. It’s lonely existentialist music similar to the band Low. If Karen Ann Quinlan is still hooked up to her machine out there somewhere, I think she’d think the Flaming Stars are dope.
–aphid (Alternative Tentacles)