Flipron’s debut, Fancy Blues & Rustique Noveties, bore all the hallmarks of an album rescued from the wilderness. There was a kind of relieved joy, a gleeful weariness in songs like ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On The Dead’ and ‘Hanging Round The Lean-To With Grandad’. Years of record company rebuffs and playing tiny venues must surely have introduced doubts about whether they would ever release a record; and so, when they were rescued by a Tiny Dog, they made sure everything was polished and new. Their songs – so whimsical, affecting and unique – gelled together like a proper album and all was well.
Well, almost. The problem was that Flipron’s oeuvre had expanded over the years, with potential hits becoming old standards (albeit in the form of demos and mp3s), and so, in order to keep things fresh, they decided againts putting some of them on the album. The fans – or, at least, me – were mildly piqued not to hear our favourites immortalised.
I needn’t have worried, for on the new record, Flipron have been liberated from such anxieties and have “merely” slung together a collection of great songs past and present. The highlight of the old songs remains Youth Shall Never Beat Old Age In A Race, a miniature tragedy about the ageing process. What is so remarkable is how the urgent jogging of the rhythm section and the benighted lyrics – come together joyously, with are as one.
Other notable songs include Cerberus is as Cerberus Does which, with its deliciously creamy hammond organ and crisp guitar riff, is an anthem about the misunderstood Hadean hound; forthcoming single, The End of Summer, a song both plangent and uplifting; and, Flat-Pack Bride of Possibilities, another great oldie which comes across like a world weary Ivor Cutler collaborating with an irreverent Nick Cave. But everything they do is worth listening to. It isn’t necessarily easy listening, but it is certainly very easy to listen to.
Musically, Flipron are free from constraints, instruments appear unexpectedly yet only when needed. Lyrically, there are few other bands profound as Flipron and none who can write about mortality so lightly and without false consciousness. Buy it!