FLAGLAND – Tireda Fighting

The twentysomething NYC garage-punk band Flagland seemed more like an out-of-control frat party on its first release, Danger Music/Party Music. On Tireda Fighting, everything sounds more like a real band – the singing, the songwriting, the musicianship.

Things do still get a bit silly on occasion, but overall, you can tell Flagland took this release much more seriously; even the nonsense has a sense of purpose, and sounds tightly rehearsed. Kerry Kallberg’s droll vocals and chunky guitar chording frequently suggest the Dead Milkmen if they came of age in hipster Bushwick rather than Eighties South Philly; there’s a good deal of self-deprecating humor, some pogo-ready ragers, a little trippy post-psychedelic gobbledygook, even some spoken-word over throbbing post-punk riffage. The title track simultaneous pays homage to Phil Spector and Black Flag. And you can tell bassist Dan Francia (even though he plays with his dad’s Feelies-eque neo-folk band, Speed The Plough) has listened to more than his share of Mission of Burma and Minutemen. I suspect Tireda Fighting will sound incrementally better with every PBR you slosh down, and I wouldn’t listen to it with a hangover; but if you’re looking for a soundtrack for your Saturday night loft party, you could do a lot worse.

– Jim Testa