One thing’s for sure, you don’t want to hear the demonic drill sounds of the opening track from Atlantis while you’re sitting in the dentist’s waiting room. ‘The Aughts‘ is an utterly thrilling ride, but you’d find yourself seriously concerned about the future of your teeth. The song buzzes around menacingly and keeps you gripped throughout. But then, Flat Worms are good at that kind of thing, and they have been for a few years now. Their tunes possess the urgency of a Future Of The Left record and I suspect if you get caught it one of their moshpits, it’s 50/50 whether you make it out of there alive or not.
‘Plaster Casts‘ continues the relentless aural assault like you’ve just left said dentist’s practice, only to be tailed by a manic flying saucer. As it descends, you catch a fleeting glance of its pilot’s cackling, ungodly face. You’re in a dystopian nightmare, it seems, but, quite unexpectedly, you’re bloody LOVING it.
Or maybe I’ve just been indoors for too long…
Flat Worms purvey a delightfully frenetic brand of punkish fervour, exciting, clammy and as vibrant as the smile on an axe wielding maniac’s face in a 1980’s frat house slasher flick. Will Ivy barks the lyrics sneeringly, rather than sings them, but it fits the band’s ethic perfectly. It’s almost a relief when the menacing, Pixies-like intro of Antarctica‘s title track breaks up the intensity with oddball lyrics like “My dog is smiling as I drive her to the park/we sit together in the kitchen after dark/I ask her questions…she just barks.” And suddenly we’re back to Future Of The Left territory again, but they’re ace anyway, so it’s hardly a crime, right?
Later on, ‘Condo Colony‘ makes you feel like you’ve been kidnapped and bundled into the back of a stolen ambulance, your assailants careering recklessly through furious traffic as they plot their evil misdemeanours. But I guess you must escape the somewhat precarious situation somehow, because the songs always give you a kind of scintillating adrenaline rush at the same time.
There’s not really any good reason why an album of eleven songs like this should work as well as it does, but it’s absolutely joyous stuff.
Antarctica is out now on Drag City.