I saw the name “Flayed” and thought “Great – some old school thrash/death!”. Erm, no. Instead, and as a pleasant surprise, we have a great collection of foot-tapping blues/country/classic rock that harks back to Led Zep while being as modern as Blackberry Smoke.
Flayed were formed in France in 2013 by guitarist Julien as a simple “let’s see how it goes” project. The band discovered that they had a natural chemistry and decided to try a few live shows and then released an album, Symphony for the Flayed. It did well enough that only a few months later they released Monster Man (it came out in early November). This is a really catchy, bouncy, fun compilation. This isn’t an album. It’s a shiny disc riddled with earworms. Frankly, it should come with a health warning.
This isn’t an album you get into after a few listens. It’s one that, when you finish the first play-through, you go back to the beginning and start again. And again. From energetic opener “Release the Fever” to closer “Too Young for an Old Man” which sounds like it could have debuted in the 1970’s on The Old Grey Whistle Test, there isn’t a bad song on here.
Given the band’s amalgamation of several styles, it’s no surprise that there’s something for everyone on here. Blues? Check out “Heat of the Sun” or “Novel”. Hard rock? “No Surrender”. 70’s throwback? Title track “Monster Man”. If I was to pluck one out, it’s “Unfairly” which has more than a touch of the early Foo Fighters about it, albeit with additional keyboards. Loud, rocking and rousing, this is a brilliant song and one that would go down a storm live.
Due to a huge pile of albums and a lack of time, this has to be a short review but please don’t think that’s down to a lack of enthusiasm about the music on offer here. Monster Man is a superb album and well worthy of your attention if you like anything that classes as “rock”. I just want to get back to listening to it…