This is "aggressively lo fi", as in: the people who made this recording had very little idea what they were doing, but they had fun doing it. In fact, the poor recording is very reminiscent of any number of local bands who put on great shows but then had no idea how to make a recording, but did so anyway, selling CDs at their shows that i would buy in the (vain) hope that the piece of plastic somehow captured the joy of their live shows...
The more i listened to Floral Print, the more i was surprised by how “Atlanta” the lo-fi-ness of this release sounded, how it carried so much memory weight of those past local CDs. So i finally went and looked at their BandCamp page. Sure enough, Floral Print are from Atlanta.
Why is it that so many local bands record so poorly? What is it about this city that makes people think: "We have to focus on recording the voice first and foremost, then the guitar, then the drums, and wait, do we even really need to record the bass/keyboards/any other instrument?" Is it something in the water? Is this a side effect of the crappy weed and PBR that local bands subsist on? Does it have something to do with being exposed to this much kudzu????
I do not understand why people spend time learning to play an instrument and working on songs, but when it comes to presenting them to the world, they just act like they do not care at all how it sounds. Why? Why do you do this?
Anyway, Floral Print have been around since 2015, although this is only their third EP in addition to a handful of singles/random tracks. There are six tracks here.
The first is called Six Pillows and features the voice changing in speed and pitch as the vocalist tries to quirkily twist his voice around. The drumming is flat and distant, but when the band gets going there is a hint of Chronic Town-era REM in the jangly guitars. Then there is a long, meandering and vaguely jazzy section. And then it goes back to the jangle. This song seems to go on forever (it's just under 6 minutes long) and have disparate sections that don't really go together, like the band couldn't figure out where this song was going.
On I Go Down On the Breeze the guitar is a lazy Chicago/Louisville thing, picking notes and strange rhythms. The drums are lethargic, but then the song gets all crunchy. I would describe this tune as "Slint-damaged", which is cool. I like Slint, and Floral Print do some interesting stuff here.
The next track is less than a minute long. Vermillion is an interlude of layers of guitar sliding against each other, high pitched and kind of pretty.
The next track is Alice Arm which is a ponderously slow song, the guitars barely moving. It sounds kind of like Floral Print are trying to be Codeine here, but they do not manage to pull it off.
Breeze (reprise) is next, another interlude of picked guitar in layers alongside falsetto voices. And then we wrap things up with Viridian, a slow pop tune with a nice rhythm that grows in stops and starts. I like the guitarwork here a lot, but i gotta admit -- the excessively quirky vocals (he goes up and down in pitch constantly!) get on my nerves after a while.
So, not the greatest release to come out of Atlanta, but not the worst either. There is a hint of the precise yet off-kilter math pop of Joan of Arc in what Floral Print are doing, while at the same time there is a kind of carelessness to it as well. The precision and the carelessness are at war, but the lo-fi nature of the recording makes everything seem more careless and less mathematically precise.
I think that the band has potential, but for the love of Buddha, can you find someone who knows how a mixing desk works before you head into the studio next time????