Take It Too Far
The track, Take It Too Far, is available via:
OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE:
20th October, 2018
THIS time around…
I want to look at a great band that is back in my view and I want to pay some new attention to. I want to address, before I get to them, Sheffield and the Yorkshire scene in general; the conflict between bands and solo artists and how the balance is starting to tip; lyrics that paint an optimistic picture; developing as a group and making changes – I will end by looking at how FloodHounds will develop and what their future has in store. This is not the first time I have come across the band and it is nice to be back with them. I am pleased to see them again and I wonder whether their new song, Take It Too Far, is the start of something full. It is always nice reviewing and interviewing artists from all areas of the world but I am back in Yorkshire. It is a county that keeps cranking out fantastic acts and I am pleased to put FloodHounds alongside the very best. Yorkshire is a vast and colourful county that is teeming with sounds and brilliant artists. I am not sure whether there is something in the water – I think there must be! – but you tend to get a lot more variation and strength in Yorkshire. What strikes me about Sheffield is the consistency and the history the city has. Look at bands like Pulp and Arctic Monkeys and you have two of the best bands of the last thirty years. Maybe they differ in terms of style but you can tell there is a distinct local sound that comes into their music. The city is still firing out brilliant artists and wonderful venues like The Leadmill mean there are places for artists to play. I don’t know really. Maybe one finds more cooperation and unity in Sheffield but it is a part of the world that should not be overlooked.
You can investigate the classic artists from here but I know there is a new breed working hard and keeping the city burning. FloodHounds are in no rush to move away and have a great fanbase there. The trio have been playing for a long while now and there is a great connection within the ranks. I am a huge fan of the work they do and I feel it is where they are based that means they are solid and together. It can be hard surviving and growing somewhere like London but it is easier and less stressful when you are away from there. I have nothing against music in London but it is difficult tackling the daily grind and making a name in a very packed area. Sheffield is away from the capital – so critics might not come here first – but I feel there is less tension and more room to breathe for artists. What impresses me is how diverse the city is and the variety on display. I know FloodHounds have been playing a long time but I have seen them add new elements into their music. Other acts in Sheffield have taken inspiration from FloodHounds and incorporated that into what they do. I feel local sources and national websites need to be more invested in Sheffield and realise it is a city that has always provided us brilliant music. We get too fixated on other parts of the world and forget there are places like Sheffield that are bursting with life and activity. I will move onto a new subject in a bit but I am fascinated by local differences and the various scents one gets when you move around. Yorkshire is a county that, I feel, is producing the best music around and we all need to get more invested. Sheffield is an industrious and steely city that is proud and hard-working. Make sure you spend a little more time that way and unearth all the brilliant new acts that are emerging right now.
It has been a while since a publication did a rundown of Sheffield artists to watch but, right now, FloodHounds should be top of your list. I have looked a lot at solo artists the past few weeks and am always extolling their virtues. I feel it is a ripe and productive time for them and it has been a long time since bands ruled the scene. Arctic Monkeys were one of the last bands to properly have mainstream attention and apart from some modern acts like IDLES; how long has it been since a band has been right in the centre of music?! I feel there will be a shift happening in the next few years. Music goes through cycles and different trends dictate what we hear in the mainstream. Right now, solo music seems to be reigning and it is a period where brilliant young names are creating work that will resonate and remain for years. I wonder why bands have taken a backseat in the mainstream – I feel it might have something to do with the sounds they produce and whether they can mix it with solo artists. There have not been THAT many exciting bands come through in the big leagues for a bit so I am looking to the underground to inspire. Look at the legendary bands like Pulp and Radiohead and they were coming into music at a time when bands were more common and, between them, they were providing personal and unique sounds. Right now; it is harder to be distinct and the popular demand seems to be aimed at solo artists. It means new bands have a harder time of things and it may take longer to transcend and get recognition. FloodHounds are part of a culture that can provide hard and grumbling sounds with lyrics that go deeper than the commercial and cliché. I feel a lot of bands (in the mainstream) either have softer sounds or are quite predictable or they are repeating what has already come before. The best of the newcomers are showing their stripes but it might take a while for a real shift to occur.
A reason why I feel FloodHounds will remain and inspire is because they have that bond and chemistry – which I shall talk about later – and the music being produced is fantastic and consistent. You can hear a FloodHounds song and take away messages that are compelling, encouraging and interesting and the sound is always urgent and bright. The band has gone through some changes but I feel like the brilliant music they are providing is the main asset. It may take a little while longer for bands to get properly into the mainstream but we need more bands like FloodHounds. They have a wonderful live show and connection and there is a magic and explosion that gets into the head and stays with you. I am not sure what their plans are for next year but I am sure it will not be long until FloodHounds will get their acclaim. I feel it only takes a few bands to get the spark lit and, from there, they can inspire a movement and revolution. Maybe IDLES and groups like Wolf Alice need a bit of backing but I can see other bands starting to make their way through. It is a great time for music and, whilst solo artists are making big headway and taking biggest attention; I can see a slight shift and I have every faith more balance will come in soon enough. FloodHounds are an ambitious and hungry band that are based in a brilliant county. They have a lot of support around them and have gained acclaim for journalists and radio. There are a few reasons why bands are slightly struggling against solo artists but maybe the lyrical content and variation of the compositions are a factor. I think solo artists have more room to manoeuvre and they are less bound to commercial demands and particular sounds. Perhaps I am wrong but bands, over the past few years, have been a bit constrained. I can hear little changes emerging and the underground best are providing something original, fresh and interesting.
One reason why bands have taken a slight backseat is the lyrics they are producing. I do not want to say solo artists have more appeal in that regard but it has been a while since I heard a band whose words stuck in my mind. FloodHounds, on their latest cut, have an optimistic mindset and are producing words that we all need to abide by. These times are stressful and demanding and it is great artists see that and are releasing music that provides that kick of life and redemption. There is nothing to suggest love-based, less optimistic lyrics are dying out but I am more prone to artists that can talk about something encouraging and reflect the times in which we live. It is a challenging period in history and things are getting rather dark. I am hearing solo artists who are urging something upbeat and urging us to keep strong but, more and more, personal concerns dominate lyrics. That is understandable to an extent but I want to hear more bands/artists thinking outside of their own lives and give us something more profound. FloodHounds mix something general and accessible with inspiring messages and encouraging tones. They want us to know we can all make it through the worst times – not always the case but largely true – and that is something that is unusual in music. Maybe it is a commercial risk straying away from love and broken hearts but I am seeing more and more artists observe the modern world and dig a lot deeper. In terms of their music; FloodHounds have progressed and made some alterations but they have always broken away from the obvious and routine – their music has that flair of individuality and has actual substance. I shall move on now but I wanted to display my views regarding lyrics and how important it is to go beyond the rather easy and tackle bigger themes. It seems, then, that FloodHounds have all the components and contours figured and they might well be one of the first bands to break into the mainstream. I am excited to see how they progress and what comes next for them.
I have been following them for a long time now and not a lot has managed to faze them. Jack Flynn and Lauren Greaves are the consistent link in the band and they have brought in a new bass player, Joel Hughes. I am not sure why the change has happened but Hughes seems to be settling in well. He made his live debut when FloodHounds supported The Blinders in Derby and FloodHounds are embarking on their next phase. It can be difficult losing a member and having to make changes and, in a lot of cases, it can be the end of the band. If there was another loss then it might be too much but FloodHounds have quickly adapted and strengthened. I like their new addition and it has not changed their sound too much. Things are starting to get big for the band so they need to remain strong and productive. Their latest song has some Blues harmonica thrown in and a Psychedelic bridge section – complete with flutes and all sort of magic! Most bands, like FloodHounds, stick to what they know and are reluctant to break away from something tried and tested. It can be tempting sticking with something familiar and safe and you might not feel easy doing something new and experimenting. FloodHounds have that core sound but feel they are willing to shift and try new things. This is a reason why I feel bands can make their way into the mainstream and the new breed are showing great strength. FloodHounds have a great live sound and have been playing a long time so it is no shock to see them cemented and solid. Rather than continue to play the same sort of thing and keep to that basic drum-bass-guitar routine; they want to expand their horizons and keep things interesting. I know how the local scene is embracing FloodHounds but I can hear people from further afield welcome the band and start to embrace their music. FloodHounds have a Punk edge they, on Take It Too Far, inject Blues and Indie together.
Before I get down to the song in question; it is worth seeing where the band can go and why I feel they will be big news next year. It has been a little while since we saw new music from FloodHounds and it good to have them back in the mix. Whatever happens in new and mainstream music next year; I am sure we will see a change happening and bands like FloodHounds will make headway. I shall end by speaking about the future of the Sheffield band but I can see them grow and get more intriguing by the release. Few bands have made as big a leap as FloodHounds and they are one of the most solid acts around. Even though they have changed a member and that could have split them; there is that friendship and solidity in the ranks and they all want to continue and make wonderful music. Life for bands can be hard when you have several members and keeping that harmony can be tough. I have a renewed interest in bands and have spent a long time investigating solo artists. Whilst I am a big fan of the solo artist and have been exposed to some incredible sounds; I am excited to adjust my radar and start bringing bands into the mix. Maybe the balance will come in a few years – and will not be instant – but I feel the underground is producing bands with much more substance and intelligence than recent years. Many are discussing important themes and not just sticking with the same subjects time and time again. I hope I have contextualised FloodHounds and what they do but the bottom line is this: they are on a sterling and golden path that will, soon enough, see them rub shoulders alongside the big guns.
A spirited and hardcore blitz reminds me of Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age – and a song I heard on Spaced that doesn’t come to mind right now! – and it is an instant blast. You are right in the song and FloodHounds are wasting no time getting into the mind. There are wordless vocals that have a slightly distorted edge and the to-and-fro between the players gets your head rocking and the body moving. I was moved from the very off and impressed by the physicality of the song. The riffs are chunky, the bass guiding and the beats firm. That combination gives a real fizz and electricity to proceedings and, before a word is sung, you are invested and interested to see where the song heads. I mentioned how bands such as FloodHounds stray away from obvious lyrical themes – heartache and romance splits – but they manage to weave a little bit of that into the fold. You get some familiarity and understanding but there is something more widespread and optimistic working away. Whilst the band wants us to be strong and determined; they are talking about something harsh and poisonous. Maybe it is impossible to completely detach away from love and relationships and you always need to put that into music. I don’t know but you can take a few things away from Take It Too Far. There is a lot of hatred and struggle and it seems, even when the first round is done, there is more where that came from! No names are mentioned – and it is not completely clear whether heartache is being assessed – but you might get a bit of political whiff. Perhaps the trio are talking about Government strife and how they are leading us down a bad road. You get a bit of romantic hurt and deceit but you can apply the words to wider concerns and what is happening in the country. Our hero knows we will get there some way and, whether that alludes to harmony in the country or personal satisfaction; I feel like his hurt is shedding and optimism is on the horizon.
The spirit and influence of Arctic Monkeys is clear but it does not dominate what FloodHounds do. I have seen the trio mutate and grow since the start and they are becoming their own boss more and more. It is nice to hear elements of Arctic Monkeys in the background but the forefront is very much that of the trio. I hear words that talk of hope and improvement and my mind is divided between the personal and political. The clever thing about the song is how you are never completely sure where the story emanates from and what the origin is. The damage has been done and the lead wants to know whether this pattern is coming to an end. Maybe there is a bit of personal problem that has been brought to the forefront. He is tired of the same occurrences and being hurt; having his life altered and affected like this. I, at every stage, am drawn to the idea of political tensions and how the country is moving. You can interpret the song how you want but, at its heart, is that message of improvement and change. It may seem like things are bad now and they will not brighten but that is not true. The trio unite perfectly and provide a composition that is always snaking, teasing and strong. The verbal hit-and-run and this constant crap is getting to the hero but he is resolute. One of the biggest strengths of Take It Too Far is learning from the past and not willing to make the same mistakes. By not revealing names and whether it is about heartbreak, a friendship souring or political upheaval; you can bring your own conclusions to mind and take the song where you feel fit. I always think about the political side of things and how FloodHounds might be thinking about recent events. However you view the song; you cannot get away from the bursting and enflamed composition and the strong lead vocal.
Greaves comes in with backing vocals and there is a brilliant burst of Blues harmonica. You do not expect it from the song and it provides another angle. More and more, as time goes on, things shift to the personal and you wonder whether they are talking about individual romantic strife or something more general. I was caught by the left-turn the song took and how it shifted from the familiar. Take It Too Far is a song you can play time and time again and get that hit from it. I have been hankering for a song that provides a real release but projects a great message. The more I listen to the song, the more I am divided where it stems from and how it came to FloodHounds. The trio provide an exceptional performance and the production brings every note and sinew to life. The song’s villain is fighting with themselves and it seems like they are digging their own grave. I was thinking about our Government and what a mess they are making but maybe FloodHounds has a common enemy that has inspired their latest single. You need to listen to Take It Too Far a few times for everything to sink in and all the shades hang. It is a fantastic song that gets into the blood and stays with you. I hope FloodHounds continue to make music and we will hear more from them next year. It has been a great and productive career so far but I feel they are hitting a new stride and things are getting stronger. I am thrilled they are back and they have not disappointed with Take It Too Far. A brilliant song that takes you by surprise and gets into the head; I feel it will do wonders on the stage and people will respond to it in a very physical and real way. Make sure you wrap your head around the track and spread the message far and wide.
The band is playing in London on Friday and then they are back up in Sheffield. The guys have that appeal in the capital but it is the local venues/crowds that are providing the biggest support. Their new single is officially released on 20th October and the gigs they have coming up is to promote it. Right now, we are lucky enough to have it on Spotify and give it a listen before it is officially released to the wider world. I know the band has experienced some change recently but that has not dented their armoury. They will continue to grow and play and I love what they are putting out into the world right now. Take It Too Far is a brilliant song that, I hope, will lead to an E.P. or album. It is clear there is renewed ambition and I am looking forward to see what that translates into. Next year will be a great one for them and I feel there will be big gigs. I am not sure whether the band has plans for international date but I would not be surprised to see FloodHounds take on the world! They have a sound that would do well in America and other parts of the world. I am seeing some great bands come through and it is interesting seeing all the different variations around. The solo artist holds a lot of clout but there has been this huge majority that (I feel) needs to change. Moving forward; 2019 will be a good year for FloodHounds and I know more material will come. Led by Jack Flynn; the Sheffield band will look to add to what they have out there now and I predict some huge gigs will arrive. What impresses me is how FloodHounds keep solid and never drop a step. One might see a slight change in terms of composition and the tones they are bringing into the blend but there is that distinct ‘FloodHounds sound’ that keeps coming through. The trio are among the most solid and fascinating around and you would do well to follow what they do. Everyone needs to show some support for the Sheffield three-piece and get involved with what they are up to. I would like to see them do a few more gigs down London way and Brighton is not too far away. Rather than race ahead and plan a list of gigs; I know they will be promoting their new single and thinking about where they head next. I am sure more material is brewing and they have an idea of what they want to do next. I am compelled to see what that is and how they move. Take a listen to Take It Too Far and let it get into the bones. It is another memorable and strong single from FloodHounds and I am glad they are putting new stuff out there. It has been a busy and eventful last couple of years for the trio but I feel they are strong and rock-solid right now. Maybe they have faced challenges and the odd slip lately but there is no stopping them right now. The FloodHounds juggernaut is strong and determined and you would do good to…
JUMP on board.