Flattbush – Smash the Octopus

What happens when two Philippino immigrants raised on protests and social activism team up with two “hybrid metal freaks”?

Flattbush happens.

Named after the infamous Philippino political rock band from the 60’s who was, uh, “silenced” (face down in ditches) by the Philippino government, the new incarnation of Flattbush is just as political and, undoubtedly, infinately more aggressive than their namesakes.

As fast as Napalm Death, as frantic as Mr. Bungle, and as violent as Brujeria, Flattbush’s musical attack is as brutal as their lyrics.

In “Death Squad”, Flattbush spits out, “Thrash the pigs!/Local puppets, lynch ’em!/Confiscate the stolen land, build the nation, give ’em!” Although many of their songs are sung in a combination of English and Tagalog, the sheer ferocity of the music leaves little to the imagination — and if you don’t get the band’s message through either the lyrics or the sonic blast, the image of George W. Bush telling a Philippino woman, “you’re my bitch” on the band’s website should fill in any holes you had.

Musically, the band is not only loud and fast, but deceptively complex as well. Tempos and riffs shift so often that it’s often difficult to keep up, crossing the line between noise and music and back several times per song. Similar to Fantomas, listeners shouldn’t get too attached to any one riff; it’s not likely to be around for long.

Producer Bill Gould continues his quest to find and present original musical entities to the masses, and succeeds here by presenting a band with something to say. Armed with a violent music style and burning lyrics, Flattbush ain’t your parents’ protestors.

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