These crazy kids these days, foolishly learning to play real instruments instead of spending that time trying to unlock the hidden “Buckethead” character in Band Hero IV. What’s worse is that some of these kids exercise their creativity by composing and recording original songs. Or if your dad happens to be T Bush, one of the area’s premier recording engineers, with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal home recordists, then perhaps this isn’t such a silly endeavor after all.
Such was the plan of Aaron Bushong and his kooky cronies who go by the name of The Great Flood Catastrophe. Their newest, and firstest, album is Godspeed, Godspeed, an especially enjoyable collection of the finest indie rock money can buy. In addition to Bushong’s clear and capable vocals ,the other Flooders include Sam Baker on guitar, Seth Baker on things with keys, Ryan Hart on bass and Aaron Purlee whomping the drums. Two Aarons, two Bakers … once again the bass player is the odd man out.
Their music is an amazing wash of fuzzy guitar tones akin to The Church or The Choir, drums that pop out of the speakers and an upbeat, positive feel. I’m not hearing the “progressive” element they tout, but the compositions are certainly more sophisticated and adventurous than your average indie rock song. For instance, “Rainbow Face” pits aggressive guitars against bright melodies, filling the cracks with flanged piano and ending with an inventive instrumental passage. “The Good Neighbor” starts with low, dramatic piano before creative drumming and an off-center guitar riff lift the song into a very loose, disjointed and carefree romp in the park. The final song, “Gaston Was Awarded the Nobel Prize,” clocks in at nearly six minutes, using that time for a few changes in rhythm, alternating between heavier, pounding guitars and cleaner, calmer sections. It’s a big song filled with big ideas, and the Flooders never let it get boring. Could the final song be a metaphor for the entire album?
As you might expect from a band with a song title like the aforementioned “Gaston,” the lyrics aren’t of your typical “boy meets girl, la la la” ilk. Instead the band takes an enigmatic bent, packing the songs with imagery and taking great poetic license. There’s great meaning in these songs, but you’re going to have to work a bit to get it, making the reward that much sweeter. Consider if you will “The Earth has changed / Just like it did before” (“The Best Train Wreck Ever”); “Inside taking pictures of the girl who smiles” (“Pocketknife, Pocketknife, Throwing Knife”); “Welcome to the world of stuntmen and caviar / We’ll make the words fit the screen” (“The Oscars”) or “Death is overrated / It tears your life apart / Cause when you get done loving / You’re gonna wanna start life all over again” from “Packed for Seattle?” Repeated listens are a must.
If you or someone you love has been hankering for melodic, well written indie rock then you should hop into your hover car and float over to Wooden Nickel to pick up a copy of Godspeed, Godspeed and plunk it promptly under your Christmas tree. The lads of The Great Flood Catastrophe will surely appreciate it. (Jason Hoffman)
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