Week in Pop: Bret Koontz, Rock Abruham, Shmu, Sour Notes

Sjimon Gompers

Talking bars & brews with Rock Abruham; photographed by Enoch the 7th Prophet.

Flying Hair

Los Angeles’s own high fliers Flying Hair; press photo courtesy of the band.

Times are heavy. Times are tough. Respite from the incessant turbulence is one that is found through avenues of meditative audio arts of calm & crafts of tranquility. Yet there is a time to fight the fires of intolerance & indifference with a whole other set of sharpened smarts & directed dissonance of dissent. Introducing a first listen to Flying Hair’s new album Night Fight available from Mock Records(limited cassette release)/Casual Acid Tea Recordings that follows up 2015’s Haunted Hangout II (Casual Acid Tea Recordings) with a doom rock cycle to counter the threat of any impending doom on the international stage. Flying Hair’s Bobby Martin (of Zig Zags), Matthew Clark (Wino Weinrich collaborator) & Kurt Mangum bring about a no-holds-barred fight to conquer the threats of an otherwise endless night.

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For Night Fight, Flying Hair let’s their hair down & cranks up the action & guitar amplification in turn. The rage kicks off with “Tantrum” that lives up to its title with an everything & the kitchen sink approach where the tenets of doom metal meet the late 70s punk ethics, as “Beady Eyes” brings the big-time ominous axes of anguish intent on pure punishment. As the energy builds, Flying Hair sticks it to the colonial pricks on “Apache Lines”, to the scratching/bitin/teeth-gnashing of “Iching”, to the phony-physician knife fight of fury that embodies that atmosphere crashing rage of “Doctor Switchblade”. The band brings the big Sabbathian slogging with the stoned drone of “Hypnotized”, right before unleahing all the energy on the title track, as the fear is fully unleashed on the furrow browed “Tunnel Vision”, to the sinister simmer of “Spiders” that spirals into the finale of “Phase II” instills a sense of panic amid guitar shreds with the reiterations of everybody’s coming, everybody’s coming. An album thriller designed to wake you from your half-asleep delusions; Flying Hair charges forward with the aesthetic of brutal batalion that offers instant catharsis for the quagmires of our times.

Flying Hair caught up with us for the following candid round-table interview session:

Tell us the origin tales of how Flying Hair came into being.

Matthew: Bobby Martin (bass/vocals) knew Kurt Mangum from living in NYC and reconnected in LA and decided to jam, with Kurt playing guitar and Bobby playing drums. They asked me to jam and Bobby switched to bass and there was an immediate chemistry. Several riffs they had been playing around with quickly became songs and there was lots of improvising and finding a groove as a group. Bobby brought in a few songs he had written and we spent time hammering out arrangements, and what followed was the first album Haunted Hangout II. Brian McKinley of RTX/Black Bananas/Royal Trux created some really interesting mixes and the first album was complete. In 2015 or so Brian Fox joined the band on synth/keys and has been in the band since.

Insights into practice rituals/sessions?

Bobby: Nothing too out of the ordinary. Tacos, beer, spliffs, jamming. Listening to old 80’s TV theme songs, busting each others chops for random BS, riffing’ on life, the usual! We are big into paranormal activity, UFO’s, Bigfoot and Grateful Dead paraphernalia.

How do you all go about your own particular arts and approach to song creation?

Bobby: The human psyche, abstraction and humor inspire me. That was the basis of this album. Writing music to me is like stepping into a secret character. Sometimes, you don’t know who you are going to get until the song is complete. Its like taking on a role like an alter ego which makes it easier to feel free. Writing what comes to me without that self inflicted judgment that tries to nudge its head in there at times is way more freeing.

The flagrant fun of Flying Hair; press photo courtesy of the band.

Give us everything we need to know about the heavy new doom treading single “Beady Eyes”.

Bobby: Its just a heavy riffing jammer. Remember the Spy vs. Spy cartoons? I was obsessed with those characters with the pointy noses running around all secretive and weird. I was thinking about those two dudes when I wrote it. The whole idea of keeping secrets and holding suspician is pretty fascinating to me. Kinda like a psychological hide and seek! So, I guess that kind of thing was permeating my mind. Its also just fun writing that kind of song because it feels like you are in the middle of a Tsunami when you are playing or listening to that kind of stuff. I think that was the first song written after “Haunted Hangout II” album was completed.

Other local artists that you feel the world isn’t hip to you yet?

Matthew: There is a huge amount of support from small labels such as Mock Records and record stores like Permanent Records who do a lot for the music scene. As for specific bands we dig Child, Rearranged Face, Hooveriii, Prettiest Eyes, Goggs and Sextile.

2018 survival tips and Parton wisdom?

Bobby: Get an earthquake kit, be good to each other and have fun out in this weird world!

Flying Hair’s new album Night Fight is available from Mock Records/Casual Acid Tea Recordings.

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