Flashlight Brown – Blue (CD)

“That’s My Problem” is essentially what a Green Day or a Nofx song would start out if the band started out in 2002 instead of 1982 or 1992, respectively. “That’s My Problem” really seems to show a commonality between Flashlight Brown and bands like Simple Plan and the F-Ups. It is not even that Flashlight Brown has cribbed the style of the average pop-punk band, but rather that the vocals present during tracks like “That’s My Problem” and “Sicker” sound almost exactly like “White Trash”-era Nofx. Thwe music that is present during a song like “Sicker” derives more convincingly from the sixties stylings of acts like The Beatles and The Kinks.

The major thing that hamstrings Flashlight Brown during the first few tracks of “Blue” is that the inflection of both Fil and Matt are exactly the same, to the point that the openings of “That’s My Problem”, “Sicker”, “Party By Myself” are indistinguishable until the point when the instrumentation kicks in. This is not to say that the tracks taken individually are not interesting, but that if they are taken serially, individuals run the risk of getting tired. Some of the track son “Blue” are the most catchy punk tracks since Face to Face crafted their “Disconnected” all those years ago. For example, the pop-punk assault of Flashlight Brown during “Get Out Of My Car” will have individuals singing along after the first repeat of the song. This blend of sixties rock and punk worked well for The Ramones, and aside from those problems previously mentioned about the vocal inflection, they work well for Flashlight Brown.

Another snag in the amount of enjoyment that individuals can draw from Flashlight Brown happens during “I’m Not Sorry”. The chorus of the track is catchy, but the entirety of the song seems to be anemic in the sense that the lyrics need a little vitriol to really capture listeners. The disc may only be thirty-five minutes, but Flashlight Brown rattles off a string of hits that run eleven deep. The band is human, and hopefully for their subsequent albums, they can come up with some more variation in their tracks without losing the bouncy sound of “Blue”. Flashlight Brown may just be the 2006 incarnation of Good Charlotte, the one punk band that mothers and their children can like equally. Here’s to hoping that they realize that goal.

Top Tracks: I’m Not Sorry, That’s My Problem

Rating: 5.4/10

[JMcQ]

Flashlight Brown – Blue / 2006 Hollywood / 11 Tracks / http://www.flashlightbrown.com / http://www.hollywoodrecords.com / Reviewed 04 May 2006

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