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Flies Are Spies From Hell- Underdog Underfoot Album Review | Gavin Brown

July 31, 2015


Flies Are Spies From Hell

Underdog Underfoot

Flies Are Spies From Hell are a post-rock instrumental five piece who deal in colossal soundscapes that conjure up stirring feelings when listening to them. Underdog Underfoot is their sophomore album, following a series of EPs and their debut Red Eyes Unravelling released in 2009, their new record is an extraordinary listen from start to finish.

Imagine Your Murder starts things off and quickly guides you into an uptempo sound driven by a steady drumbeat and passionate guitars before a sorrowful piano sound kicks in, complimented by a menacing bassline that continues for the rest of the song and the stunning conclusion that ends things is a fine way way to start the album and whets your appetite for what is to come. The following Slow Heat Death starts in a heavier fashion with prog and jazzy elements that create a juddering but no less driving effect and the track just builds and builds, eventually leading to a mournful end with effective piano.

The more upbeat Fail Better follows and has a more hopeful feel until the middle of the song when it takes an almost remorseful turn with shimmering drums and guitars that slowly build up tension and turns the thing onto a hopeful road once more with some epic piano work. Last Dust Settled, drenched in glouriously fuzzy feedback reminds me of a post-rock version of Avril 14th by Aphex Twin. A stunningly beautiful and understated piece of work that is piano led and fades out with the sound of the feedback wailing.

The crunching Hammer Without Hand ups the tempo and is augmented by huge guitars and the inspired use of an organ, the riffs reminded me of the last Baroness album (they are that big) while the song ends with a classic Slint or Tortoise feel to it.

The sprawling Beg for Sleep has to be the highlight of the album, a saga of a track with a definite classical music feel to it. Epic in its outlook and defiantly grandiose, the song encapsulates everything that is good about Flies Are Spies From Hell. At times very heavy, at times very calm and at times beautiful, this track blends all these elements  into a vast and inspiring track that has an anthemic feel to it too due to the militaristic drumbeat that is the backbone of the piece.

The last two tracks Cocoon (like Last Dust Settled, a beautiful and calming serenade) and the albums title track (A moving piece with stirring riffs and pounding drums that combine well with serene piano with an end that finishes dramatically) round things off nicely on an album that is a masterful listen.

There are a few words that could sum up Flies Are Spies From Hell‘s music and this album. Progressive is definitely one, epic is another but more than anything else, it is emotional that sums them up just right. This is emotional music done right, it packs the right emotive punch and is both heart rending and soul stirring. This is an assured and impressive debut and I can’t wait to hear more from them in the future.


Underdog Underfoot is streaming in full below-

Flies Are Spies From Hell- Underdog Underfoot is out now .

Words: Gavin Brown


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