The Rescue - Flamingo Minutes (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Rescue

Flamingo Minutes (2004)


Rescue: congratulations on become more listenable. When I was given Volume Plus Volume to review in 2002, it was the first time I had heard the Detroit foursome, and let me just say I was stunned. While I was impressed, the constant meter and tempo changes, pounding unorthodox rhythms, and dissonance made listening to the album in its entirety quite a workout. I worked up my endurance (pun intended) and started to enjoy the album more after the review was posted. The CD has since been re-released on Forge Again records as a double-disc with rarities, and in the June 2004 issue of AP, they listed the album as one of the 10 Essential Prog-Emo Albums, alongside The Mars Volta, Joan of Arc and Coheed and Cambria. This band is more like Braid than those guys, so they do clarify that this is more like "math-emo." Was I right for comparing this band to Dillinger Escape Plan in pure musical tech, despite all the shit I got in the comments? Anyway, let's move to the present.

What we have here could be called a mini-LP or mini-album, because it's more than an EP at 8 tracks in 32 minutes (I've seen "full lengths" shorter than that…*cough Me First cough Gimme Gimmes*). What we have here should definitely be called a huge step forward in musicality. On Volume Rescue seemed to be four guys flexing their musical muscles; on Flamingo Minutes we have songwriters. This makes for a much more enjoyable listen and a more accessible record to the new fan with, in my opinion, no compromise to their overall sound.

Rescue has slowed the speed down a tad, but not the intensity as its opener "I am the Queen of Comparison" shows. They still use dissonance well, while the unique rhythms and dynamic change are still the most compelling elements to the band. Then, I noticed the lyrics, a first for me with Rescue. Before, they were incomprehensible beneath the barrage, now they push to the forefront with biting lines like "I will settle down with the first one who swoons me/ I am the queen of comparison/ I will fuck you on my floor/ in my room, at my door." This first track leads into the insane instrumental "Psuffix," a minute long onslaught of clashing tones and microphone-clipping cymbals, proving this band has not gone soft in the least.

"Moment & Morning: 1981-1986" has the best vocal line I believe the band has written yet (with its competition being the following track "Concerns"), moving up and down in range, with bite yet melody. The last album had times the vocals were downright annoying, but no more. Also, on this song the band sounds kinda like Cursive, but still with their own style and technical prowess in there. Another band comparison would be Murder by Death in "Through/ Suit", the slowest Rescue track I've heard, and not because they throw in a cello-they don't- it just has a good groove with acoustic guitar and some whispery vocals, a definite growth for the band; an expansion of their sound.

A couple interesting things I have never seen on an album before: they have a song pronounced "Eating Jesus", but typed as "Eating" then a Jesus fish symbol. Deeper in the liner notes it says how it is supposed to be pronounced. Also, I had been looking at the lyric sheet to see the track listing, thinking they were not printed on the outside art. But then I discovered it was there after all, hidden on the opposite spine. Different.

Most importantly, we have a band that is growing. Still intense and artistic yet with a batch of better songs, Flamingo Minutes should allow Rescue to keep their old fans and win even more new ones.