In my eternal search for the perfect album, Flunk has always been a prominent candidate in my book. I like the fact that you can tell there is a difference between how their sound has evolved from the experimental For Sleepyheads Only (2002), and their latest effort.
This Is What You Get however has departed from the more traditional formula we were becoming used to. The central part of the album is still the omnipresent Anja Øyen Vister’s voice, but there has been a shift in the way it is presented. The emphasis now is getting an edgier, more experimental rock sound, which blends surprisingly good with Anja’s voice, almost to the extent of creating a feeling that you’re witnessing an alternative rock band rehearse in someone’s garage.
At first I was a little worried that they were just trying too hard to create something new that they actually forgot what made them so good. It wasn’t until I spent a lot of time with this record, then let it off my head for another while, and finally getting back that I really started to get it. My worries started to fade, I realized this is still the band I got to love so many years ago, and yet they surprise me with something completely new.
Fortunately this is not about emulating someone else’s sound, this is what happens when you get out of your comfort zone and you start to add new elements, and happily for all of us, I think it worked out just fine. There is still of course some traces from the old formula, you can’t get completely away from it, but it is very well-balanced that you never get the feeling that something is out-of-place.
Also, in usual Flunk fashion, there is a cover included. Before this record came out, my favorite Flunk cover was Blue Monday (originally by INXS), hands down. This time we get ourselves a treat with a somewhat drowsy version of the cult classic Karma Police (Radiohead), and that of course means that now Blue Monday has enough reasons to worry. I still don’t have a clear winner though.
Lately, a question started to grow in me… Is the old Flunk gone forever? A part of me would miss it dearly, but I’m starting to suspect that another part of me would like some more experimentation before eventually going back to some more traditional sound, unless there is no turning back…