FLARED – “Debuten” CD ’10 (Unique, Swe) – Psych is a funny genre. Well I didn’t mean humorous but, come to think of it, it actually can be that. I mean, think about it…there have been times, mostly in my deep and far-reaching past, that I may have had a chuckle or three as a so-called psychedelic album played. Was that a reflection on the quality of the music that emanated from the speakers during such a listening session? Probably not. Could it have resulted from the ingestion of some controlled substance at a time pursuant to said listening? Yes, it could. But none of that really matters because it’s not what I meant in the first damn place. Why do y’all have to try to confuse me like this?! NO! What I mean is that psych is a strange one…in a sense like our old storied friend, “prog,” it’s a slippery eel. What is it? Is it Hawkwind? Is it the Elevators? Is it Acid Mothers Temple? You see?! None of these sound the same and yet would anyone deny that any one of them is psych? What the hell long-winded and probably useless point is Ray trying to get to now???
Here’s the point, mofo. You can call psych anything you want or call anything you want psych. Just don’t call me late for dinner and don’t you ever dare say that FLARED’s initial effort “Debuten” isn’t a damn good representation of the genre. I like FLARED. I don’t necessarily like them because they were probably fucked up when they made this record, I like them because they were probably fucked up enough to make this thing groove like no tomorrow. Listen to the opening cut, “Coffee Break.” Now, seriously, how many people are going to write a song called “Coffee Break” (as in, “I need a……..) and have it’s maiden section sound like Chicago Transit Authority after dipping into the bad tabs. And, none of that stops it from completely shape-shifting part the way through and turning into a mind-erasing sonic landscape that would give Dave Brock pause. The next song “Figure Out” will have you saying, “Damn, I can’t figure these guys out,” because all the sudden we’re being battered about the ears by some seriously dirty hard rock. In case you hadn’t guessed, this kinda unfolding and wing-spreading is going to keep happening all thru your listen, with guests as unexpected as soul and jazz making visits along the way. I have to say, FLARED is really quite adept at all this morphing and changing and, yes, I think you will still recognize them when the last cut finishes and your player resets to Track 1. Still, if psych is going to continue to exist and push forward into the 21st Century, it’s a pretty nice feeling to know it’s safe in the hands of people like FLARED. Bell Bottom Blues, Don't Say Goodbye Ray Dorsey