Radar Band Of The Week – No. 16: Flats


Flats – Rejoice, punk just got nasty again…

People need to stop listening to Gang Of fucking Four,” spits Dan Devine, the street urchin ring leader of Flats. “Half a decade of raping the same record? Bloc Party and Franz was five years ago and people still think it’s acceptable to trot out an angular guitar riff and a disco beat. It makes me fucking sick.”

Flats formed a few short months ago intent on remedying the musical ills of the last five years. The most visceral mess of a punk band we’ve seen in about a decade, they’re the snotty, grubby-faced antidote to today’s trust-fund shmindie landslide. “We came up with a sort of manifesto that we haven’t deviated from; the songs have to be fast, short and heavy and the vocals have to involve me screaming as loud as I can.”

In the grand anarcho-punk lineage, top of the band’s long shit-list are mods. They have one song called ‘Rat Trap’, which contains a refrain that simply runs, “Paul Weller’s a cunt”, alongside some lyrics about Pete Townshend that are so libelous – and entirely untrue – that our legal team laughed at the idea of us merely repeating them.

They’ve been censored off their debut five-track seven-inch – so that’s an average song length of 50 seconds – so you’ll have to see them live to bask in their ridiculous defamation of character.

“Basically,” snarls Dan, “when me and my guitarist Luke lived together we bonded over bands like Swans and Arab On Radar and these girls we lived with were always throwing parties, inviting all these emaciated male model freaks. We’d stick on Arab On Radar and they’d all leave. I want Flats to be the live equivalent of that. It actually happened the other day when we played at the same show as Mark Ronson.”

Aside from sending Mark Ronson fans running to the hills, Flats aren’t lacking in ambition: “I hate bands that re-release the same track 20 times. Fuck that, just get it out. This could all be over this time next year but if I’ve put out six records by that point I’ll be happy.” With this caliber of venom at play, so should you.

Need To Know
*Dan once worked in a banana-packing factory in Maidstone

*The band’s name pre-dates their formation and was provided by Sam from S.C.U.M, who thought it would be a funny English take on avant-garde Japanese noise act High Rise’s name

*One Flats show was attended by J Mascis, J Spaceman and Kevin Shields, while Jamie Reynolds co-produced their seven-inch


Words: James Knight

This article appears in the August 7 issue of NME

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