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The Pachinko Fake

Flakes: A Collection Of Fine Songs

Review by Gary Hill

You'll note that I have landed this under progressive rock. Clearly in the terms of traditional progressive rock, this does not fit. It has a lot in common with music like Depeche Mode and Bauhaus, but also The Talking Heads and even David Bowie. That said, you'll also probably make out some King Crimson and Hawkwind leanings at times. While this isn't progressive rock in terms of the traditional classification it is very artistic and progressive. This is odd music, but it also works quite well.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Get Out Of My Face

There is a trippy kind of detuned vibe to this thing. The vocals have a David Bowie meets Lou Reed kind of thing. This is definitely not progressive rock in a traditional sense, but it has a real art rock, progressive vibe to it. I suppose that there is as much Talking Heads to this as there is prog, but it also has plenty of David Bowie like texture.

Existence
Now, there is a lot of King Crimson sort of sound here. This is hard rocking, energized and still has a lot of that Bowie thing built into it. There is an active and up-front percussive element at times here. There are also definite ties to electronic dance music.
Sugarless Candy
Coming in a bit tentative, there is a dark vibe to the opening. The cut works forward with more the Lou Reed reference in terms of the vocals. This is slow moving and moody. The powered up movement does bring some progressive rock textures. The song is so powerful and effective.  
Comfort
I like the cool groove on this tune a lot. It's like David Bowie turned Roxy Music with some hints of psychedelia in the mix. This has a lot of 80s music in the mix, too. Yet, it's definitely proggy in a lot of ways. It earns a parental advisory.
Closer To The Sky
There isn't a lot of prog here. I'd consider this more along the lines of 80s music with a cool post punk vibe to it.
Cool
Jazz and swing music are big parts of this. Add in some post punk and proggy tendencies and you are in the right neighborhood. Freaky classical textures emerge at times on this number.
He Made Love To A Six Pack
Starting percussive this gets very proggy as it works forward. There is a bit of a James Bond music vibe to this. This gets another minor parental advisory.
Leben Und Sterben In Hamburg
The opening on this has a definite space rock element to it. In fact, this reminds me a lot of Hawkwind. There are some cool distorted and noisy parts of this cut. It's a powerhouse song that's among my favorite parts of the disc. I dig the echoey mostly spoken vocals on the piece. They remind me of both Robert Calvert and Nik Turner.
Push Me Before I Fall
This rocker has some cool vocal hooks. It's a tasty post punk, new wave groove with some proggy tendencies.
Hey DJ, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
High energy and grooving, this is a killer cut that works really well. It's perhaps not the proggiest thing here, but there are some prog tendencies in the mix. There are also some bits of crazed jazz sounds at points here.
Simple Mind
I dig the tentative back and forth side to side element at the beginning of this. The track has a bit of a stripped down vibe to it, but it's also more of a pure rock and roller. That said, there are definite psychedelic rock elements here. Parts of this almost make me think of a mellower version of what you might get if you merged AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix. It gets more powered up later in the track with a noisy kind of proggy element taking over for a while.
Movin'
New wave music, post punk and proggy tendencies merge on this energetic piece. The acoustic guitar work later brings some intriguing prog elements to the song. The percussion workout section is another nice touch.
Eat Me Up (Before You Go Go)
Electronic prog elements are on display as this cut works out. Yet there is almost a bit of a B-52s vibe, too. Some noisy guitar is on hand as the number continues.
Mainichi
Flute brings this into being. Eventually guitar and other elements emerge. There is a tribal vibe to this that reminds me of early Hawkwind. It drops to emphasize the flute again later. Some noisy guitar rises up as the cut moves forward with an almost King Crimson meets Hawkwind edge.
Jet Lag
Hard edged and driving, this is cool stuff. The vocals are very weird. The whole piece is noisy and odd, but also intriguing.       
 
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