[sic] Magazine

Flat Worms – S/T

Super-group with a super record alert! Flat Worms are guitarist Will Ivy of Dream Boys and Wet Illustrated, bassist Tim Hellman (currently of Thee Oh Sees – or whatever they’re calling themselves nowadays – and formerly of the Ty Segall Band and Sic Alps), as well as The Babies/Kevin Morby’s go-to drummer Justin Sullivan. A lot is understandably being made of them sounding exactly like they should given their collective XP, but where Flat Worms are even more interesting is that they have at their disposal a tumble of ten pretty flawless, breathless garage-noise hits that always seem to know how to find the next level. Their songs are short, sharp and lean and Ivy’s vocal has that veneer of uninterested cool applied in complete totality throughout. Consequently their S/T debut has many highlights, the sort of perfectly formed rock that made The Strokes super-stars back at the turn of the millennium, just a shade less polished, a shade more dangerous and just like Parquet Courts and Television before them.

Brash but brilliant, the searing guitar in a track like “Followers” thus sets the rhythm section’s post-punk angles on fire. Supercharged, budget banger “Goodbye Texas” is another quick-fire churn of guitar and drums that whips itself into a frenzy beneath Ivy’s half-spoken, yet surprisingly clean sneer. Most tracks naturally weigh in under the three-minute mark making the epic five-minute closer “Red Hot Sand” the longest by some distance, destructive bass fuzz a major player here in wave after wave of pummelling action. Unearthing one quality nugget after another, Ivy straps powerful choruses onto insistent riffing and precision motorik in tracks like “Accelerated” and “Fault Line”, modern concessions to garage-psych rendered even more indistinct by messy fuzz. In this vein, gloriously vintage opening salvo “Motorbike” is a hedonistic, devil-may-care blast of youthful exuberance, its rear wheel fishtailing in the feedback of the wet open road. Flat Worms certainly haven’t hit upon a complex template, but sometimes doing the simple things right is hard and they make it look easy.

Best track: “Motorbike”

~Flat Worms is out October 20th 2017 via Castle Face.~