Title Fight’s ‘Shed‘ was one of the surprises of 2011. A raucous, angry, yet catchy punk nugget that with a sophistication that many bands dream of reaching on their first full-length. Anyone who heard their EP collection ‘The Last Thing You Forget’ – especially the lead track Symmetry – will surely attest that this gawky-looking foursome had something special. Shed was that rare thing, a punk record for the mohawks and the backpacks alike, as emotive (see Crescent-Shaped Depression, Where Am I?) as it is foot-stomping (Coxton Yard, the title track). A tough act to follow.
So is Floral Green as good? Well… nearly. It’s certainly as angry – now they’re really livid! Ned Russin’s voice sounds painfully strained from song one, verse one: “I can’t make my own decisions!” By the time he screams, “Do you really want to know?!” during Leaf, the second track, you’re fearing for his safety. But it’s catchy as fuck so health concerns are fleeting.
In fact, every one of the opening four tracks kicks like a mule. Like A Ritual is just as potent, albeit more straightforward. Secret Society has a bassline that takes your ears off, and if your head’s not bouncing by the “I’ll be you and you’ll be me” refrain then you should take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror and reassess.
Then there’s Make You Cry. Ferocious and unhinged, the record’s centrepiece, a monster, bleak. It’s the band at their best, and it makes the tracks that follow a little disappointing. It’s all very skippable after the album’s blistering first half. Still, let’s focus on the good stuff, of which there’s plenty here. And there’s always that Symmetry video to watch again on YouTube…