We Reviewed The New Single from Flake – Charlie

Having grown up being force-fed a steady diet of classic rock, I approach it these days with more than a modicum of caution. Aside from the fact that, should I for some reason find myself tied up in Guantanamo Bay, it would almost certainly be a barrage of bands like AC/DC, Deep Purple and Leonard Skynard with which they’d torture me, classic rock, in all it’s various guises, is often just plain boring.

It also isn’t the genre that one might first expect Birmingham’s Flake to peddle, given both their name, and the title of their current single ‘Charlie’. Rather than the swaggering indie boys with swinging jaws such references impart however, Flake offer up a brand of boozy, dirty, powder-crusted classic rock that feels, at least for the most part, anything but boring.

Though still harbouring more than its fair share of swagger, and arguably fuelled by its namesake, ‘Charlie’ is three minutes of screeching guitars, rolling bass and clattering percussion that drives the track towards its conclusion.

It’s scrappy and scuzzy and perhaps a little tongue in cheek, but it’s wry self-awareness is what makes it all the more appealing. Where often similar bands will so often find themselves succumbing to an overt sincerity, Flake don’t tell themselves too seriously.

That said lyrically the track is a little more serious than the band’s other offerings. While it’s safe to assume that the band are, or at least were, partial to a certain white powder, ‘Charlie’ is an exploration of its negative rather than a celebration, despite what its anarchic exterior might have you believe.

A short, sharp gut punch of a single, on first listen ‘Charlie’ was a track I really didn’t want to like. By the third I’d been completely won over. As scrappy as it is incendiary, it’s a track that succeeds in breathing new life into the blackened lungs of classic rock, and drags it kicking and screaming into the contemporary.