Pathway

The return of the Flat Earth Society, then....

Pathway

7 / 10 The return of the Flat Earth Society, then. The Flaming Stars' third album proper takes its name from the studio where it was recorded; a studio where, as they are at pains to mention, such marginal genre classics as The Damned's debut album and the first [a]Siouxsie & The Banshees[/a] work were recorded.



Fitting enough, really, because marginal genre classics are exactly the kind of commodities that the Stars have been dealing with throughout their five-year career. Graduates of the same monomaniac school that brought us Billy Childish, they play direct, attack-minded garage punk-rock which, thanks to the liberal use of keyboards and occasional moments of introspection on 'Pathway' like 'Maybe One Day', has a few less barbed edges than Thee Headcoats' oeuvre.



The Flaming Stars' 'everything louder than everything else' ethos cannot mask some fine understated songwriting like on the plaintive 'Only Tonight', while Max Dicharni's deadpan vocals on 'Sixteen Coaches Long' momentarily revive the spirit of a more fiery Felt.



Sure, this is an ideologically irrelevant piece of revisionism which has no place in the pantheon of modern pop, but within the narrow parameters The Flaming Stars have set themselves for success, 'Pathway' is something of a victory. Number 35 in the indie charts with a bullet, then. Well done, chaps.

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