Black Lips and Flowers Forever @ El Rey Theatre, 5/1/09
Friday night at the El Rey Theatre, the guitarist for Tilly and the Wall, Derek Pressnall, opened for the Black Lips with his new band, Flowers Forever. The only adornment on-stage was a tangled mass of lights that glowed like a giant light-up hairball that served as a visual embodiment of the Flowers Forever sound: bright, messy, pretty ugly, but intriguing nonetheless. Each song jumped around from melody to melody with no smooth transitions. Drums ricocheted from delicate to pounding, guitars from fuzzy to jangling, and the bass and keyboards seemed to fill in wherever necessary. The unpredictable tone of the lyrics went from sweetly lighthearted ("Beach Bum") to mopey ("Jealous Motherfucker") and finally to politically pissed off in "Golden Shackles." The overall sonic effect of this lack of cohesion was extremely off putting, because the moment you decided you finally liked what the band was playing, they immediately started playing something else. Forever Flowers have potential, though, and could improve enormously if they dedicated themselves to one idea per song, not five. With a little focus and some strict editing, they could make some seriously interesting pop.