Small steps to big anthems

New EP from The Flats lays the groundwork for future indie-rock anthems.


You can spot musical success a mile off. If an outfit is able to produce songs that stir a strong emotional response and can inspire singalongs and spiritual release, chances are it will go far. The Flats is a band on its way to achieving this, if new EP Auburn in the Everlast is anything to go by.

Strikingly unusual title aside, the EP is the introductory release of a sound that is destined to breach the mainstream and change hearts across the globe. The band has a strange charm in that its sound is raw and largely unrefined, sounding as if you were catching Brand New during its formative early years. What the band offers is charming indie-rock with pristine melodies, catchy choruses and guitar tones that blur the line between modern indie chimes and the sizzling aggression of mid-noughties alternative.

While each track delivers these qualities, particularly the rousing chorus of Transparent, there are two songs that summarise it perfectly. Third track Finite Waste is a unique track in that, almost simultaneously, it exhibits the range of guitar tones that the band excels at – the crunchy alternative sound and the echo-laden crystalline feel. This is one of the songs where the band seems to hold back a bit on the chorus, going less for out-and-out singalong and instead going for something that worms its way into your head.

Though it is closing number Purple Eyes that is the epitome of the band’s sound. A constant piano melody underpins indie-alternative instrumentation that gradually builds to a controlled but blistering guitar solo that touches on dissonance. It’s a strangely fitting close to an EP that is indie radio fodder, as it descends into a haze of noise that begins to overtake the gentle guitars and smooth vocals. In the end, all we have is distortion.

Auburn in the Everlast is an unusual EP. It’s good, but it’s not flawless. What it does marvellously well is that is positions the band for much bigger and better releases in the future. The Flats is an outfit with a wealth of potential that it is only beginning to tap into, with highly enjoyable results. By the time this band comes around to releasing its first full-length album, this sound will probably have already taken over the world.

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