Through the bars and alleyways of Toronto’s Ossington Avenue, a new sound can be heard howling high. With the intensity of a snarling biker chick from a Russ Meyer film, the boys of FLASH LIGHTNIN’ have scraped the grime off the streets to create a debut rock ‘n’ roll album full of sex, sweat, smoke and sleaze.
With a sound once described as “bad-ass sludge-boogie,” FLASH LIGHTNIN’ was born in the legendary Dakota Tavern, where the trio of Darren Glover (guitar, vocals), Darcy Yates (bass) and Chris Henry (drums) held down a celebrated Wednesday night residency, frequented by a veritable who’s who of the Canadian music scene. From Metric to Billy Talent, Ron Sexsmith and Feist, people came to witness FLASH LIGHTNIN’ deliver an authentic sound and experience that was virtually impossible to ignore.
On the heels and strength of their success at the Dakota, FLASH LIGHTNIN’ recorded their first EP, Destello, which featured some early favorites like “Down Down” and “Tripped and Fell” alongside tracks co-written by Ian D’Sa of Billy Talent. This quick and dirty EP served as the perfect calling card for their sound and landed them tours with Eagles Of Death Metal and Priestess. But it was Metric guitarist and early supporter Jimmy Shaw who eventually raised his hand to record and produce their first full-length album at his newly opened Giant Studios – mere steps from the Dakota Tavern – the results of which are about to be unleashed.
Ten pure rock ‘n’ roll tracks make up FLASH LIGHTNIN’s self-titled debut. The dirt blues meets desert metal rumble of the title song “Flash Lightnin’” signifies what the group is capable of. Massive drum swells and thick bass roll, as Glover struts across with his distinctive howl. The laid-back honky-tonk groove of “Dish it Out” leans confidently next to the pogo riffing of “Don’t Tell,” showing off the group’s wide versatility and Glover’s prowess, a guitar players’ guitar player. Tracks like “Slow Death” and the soon-to-be single “No Sympathy” tell tales of badass women that have the group “licking their wounds at the liquor store,” with thick grooves and a disco Stones shuffle. With several songs co-written by lyrical and melodic genius Ron Sexsmith, Glover’s delivery strikes the listener deeply, leaving no room for questions or second thoughts.
This music isn’t looking to your new haircut for its cues; it just wants your hips and hearts to do what comes naturally – preferably with a shot of good bourbon to ease things along.
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