The Flaming Tsunamis - Fear Everything (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Flaming Tsunamis

Fear Everything (2006)

Kill Normal

I dare you to find a review of the Flaming Tsunamis' Fear Everything that doesn't contain the word 'ambitious.' With the New Haven, CT act's first full-length, the Flaming Tsunamis have moved from a band whose peers might have included Big D and the Kids Table and the Arrogant Sons of Bitches to one completely departing the genre. Few moments on Fear Everything actually offer straight ska-punk; instead we're usually treated to dark, bravado metalcore strains splashed occasionally with jazzy, upbeat horns á la Rx Bandits in between, or a transition to a more or less melodic, completely different style. Save Ferris-style female vocals even accompany some of these timeouts. Sometimes, the band adds the flair of brass to their heavy base.

Whether or not this makes for great songs is a whole 'nother story.

"The Ritalin Conspiracy" is the first song on the album, and immediately introduces the album with a breakdown. The song later bubbles with a set of sneering vocals quickly fading in and out, a section that seems to resemble Lye by Mistake. However, additional similarities that happen to occur beyond that moment are merely the result of a similar technique employed throughout Fear Everything: a carnival-esque sense of experimentation -- it's so far-fetched and bizarre at points it's practically funny. While not quite as effective as Lye by Mistake, it certainly preempts the potential for predictable points. The title track will even leave you thinking Bane's Aaron Bedard guested on it (in addition to a couple others, vaguely). Gang vocals are liberally sprinkled throughout too, sometimes layered over -- again, like the title track. "World of Chaos" has the riffs from "Funkytown," no shit. Then there's the Locust-borrowing "Bennett Brauer." The nearly seven-minute "Weaug Teaug Peaug (The Powder of Life)," before building into its mountainous peak, sounds more like the Police than anything off the Exit's last few albums. The brass in the closer "Shit Piss Die" should have you whistling the lines for...well, minutes, at least.

There's moments like these all over Fear Everything, and they certainly make for an interesting collection. But like so many bands with the same level of ambition, that's the inherent problem: These moments rarely, if ever, coalesce to form one great song. In addition, their actual metalcore style seems to take less from their claimed influences (Converge, Botch) and more from a newer era more intent on sweet mosh than creative brutality. Of course, in this context it could all be tongue in cheek; it's hard to really say.

Lyrically, there's a nice consistency of political outrage (though the refrain of "BOMB THE WHITE HOUSE" in "The First Rule" seems a little attention starved on paper), and it seems the band still have an odd fascination with zombies ("If You Really Love Me.").

Things are relatively enjoyable here, no doubt, but it's just tough to say that the band knows exactly what they're doing yet. Tightening things up would do absolute wonders, but it's hard to deny that there's an insane foundation in place to build upon.

Bird-Watching and Vice Versa
The Great Red Cross Robbery
If You Really Love Me.
The First Rule