July 20, 2013
The Flag isn't the same band as the more easily Googleable Black Flag catalog-playing supergroup (simply known as FLAG,) but if there's any similarities between the two projects, its that both are lifers in their respective way. Ted McGrath is a Brooklynite through and through, having played in Aughties art scene staples These Are Powers and Antimagic, but after yet another name-switch (previously working under the moniker ATM,) his latest project is a reminder of NYC's enduring reputation of crafting ambiguous rock styles before anyone has boxed them in under a label. For his part, McGrath relies heavily on the use of repetitive motions in rhythm and delay pedals in the broken lights of yesteryear's no wave gods Suicide, alongside imperfectly slick and avant narration that winks back to the Big Apple's post-disco voices-as-instruments innovators spanning as far back as David Byrne and still resonating in modern times through the echoes of James Murphy. McGrath's 2011 effort, To Wear the Vest of Wealth, originally recorded during his days as ATM, was a messy, diverse yet profound collage of ideas in this sonic realm, but its on the Flag's newest single "Alpha 60 Punch Out" b / w "Neighbors" (via Godmode Records) where the gap that separates atypical sound patterns from the rock songwriter are beginning to bridge themselves through mapped out hypnotic pop without abandoning the dingy romance of New York City's noise culture. Look for its release soon on cassette through the Godmode shop, and perhaps start penciling in a date at the Silent Barn on September 7th where the Flag could potentially be taking part in the Godmode / Gimme Tinnitus / Mirror Universe Tapes cassette fair and show during this year's first ever Cassette Store Day.