Music Reviews

2nd Gen Flicknives

(Q Mass) Buy it from Insound Rating - 2/10

2nd Gen started out with the well-meaning, self-righteous (but good fun live) outfit Fun*Da*Mental, but I guess that somewhere along the line he decided that he needed to stand alone, and show the world what he needed to say. What he needed to say, on the evidence of Flicknives, is that he would like to be taken (over) seriously as a musician, just as long as it doesn't involve having any inspiration or bothering to structure anything he comes up with into varied and interesting tracks.

Opener Evox would possibly work ok as a soundtrack, in that it's boring but nice and goes nowhere, and this is excusable if it's the long-winded intro to a killer track. Which it isn't. It's the intro to Middle Finger Motif, which contains dentist drills, a distorted riff, too much time playing with filters to disguise a lack of inspiration, and little else. The harsh reality is, no matter how much you tinker with one idea, it'll never be more than one idea, and the last-minute addition of few odd, whirring noises randomly scattered about won't fool anyone. For a track that relies on a central riff to work, it needs to explode into an unstoppable behemoth (e.g. Black Sabbath's Supernaut), and a milky, generic drum break (which kicks in three-quarters of the way through) just isn't up to the job. Nor can 2nd Gen manipulate distortion like a Kevin Shields or a Jason Pierce, and the resulting mess is all promise, no delivery; as disappointing as discovering that your husband is a eunuch on your wedding night.

When the title track limps into view, hopes that this will be the zenith of the album are dashed when the drums kick back into trip hop lite, and the 'one-riff, bled dry' formula begins again. You get the sense that 2nd Gen imagines that these songs stalk like panthers, when if fact they lurch along like dying elephants. Non-plussed is ok, but then daytime TV is ok, if you have nothing better to do. By the time Post-Modern Martyrs arrives, I'm so bored that I'd probably jump on any semi-formed good idea, hyperbolic adjectives in hand. Unfortunately, it's one of the better tracks on here, and it doesn't even have that in its favour.

It seems like no-one's told 2nd Gen that you need ideas to make interesting music. Virtually all the songs follow a simple recipe: take a one-note, repetitive, distorted bass line, add a generic boom-boom-chick break, then leave it to roll along for 4 minutes, adding the occasional half-arsed blip. For variation, add a sample of an American talking about something dull and worthy, like war or politics. Then serve it up with a large dollop of self-importance to whichever poor sap spent £14 to hear it, and watch them simmer. Flicknives' title says it all: impressive when you're 14, but something you should have grown out of by now. Somebody is investing money in this: make sure it isn't you.