The Flies All Too Human Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

It is reassuring to hear such a daringly creative LP as this.

Gemma Padley 2008

In these pick and mix musical times with the steady demise of the album, LPs as 'works of art' are increasingly rare. Fortunately there are a handful of bands that refuse to succumb to the MP3 downloading whitewash. Bristol three-piece The Flies, led by former Lupine Howl frontman and long serving member of Spiritualized, Sean Cook, have created an album that is as much an artistic entity as it is a collection of individually compelling songs.

All Too Human is brazenly sexual and painfully beautiful in equal measure. Opening track and single "Walking On The Sand" is steeped in mystery. With threatening undertones it tiptoes along dank corridors, prowling and expectant, brimming with suppressed emotion – the perfect start to a sexually charged album where what is left unheard is as important as the audible instrumental textures.

Cook and co. leave room for the imagination to run free. "Bitter Moon" with its Lennon-esque piano riff and echoey vocal is spine-tingling and captivating, while "Chills" returns to an elegiac soundscape following a brief detour for the unapologetically brash "High". More predatory and provocative tracks include "The Temptress", and "My Pleasure". Drenched in Sixties psychedelic sex-appeal, the latter slips and slides in an hypnotic trance, while "The Temptress" adopts a kinky samba inspired pizzicato figure as strings loop seductively round the breathy vocal – the aural equivalent of endless twisting legs.

The Flies tread a fine line between sizzling sexuality and inane pastiche, and not every track rings true; "The Elements" takes the seductive style a step too far and lacks climactic sparkle. But the majority of songs form a unique filmic tapestry. Interestingly, the strength of All Too Human lies in its softer moments; the startlingly Floydian 'One Of Them' is an arresting finale. As albums become more and more scarce, it is reassuring to hear such a daringly creative LP as this.

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