Do you like straightforward, stick-to-the-point types of music? If you do, maybe Flight 15’s (or F15) The Journey isn’t your style. There’s so much shit going on in these songs in regards to parts, tempo changes, breakdowns etc. that it’s no wonder the album is called The Journey. They should have called it The Adventure, because you never know where the fuck it’s going to take you. It’s a four song alternative-rock EP launched on May 6th, 2016 that incorporates a little bit of funk and a little bit of pop into the mix.
The opening track on the EP, “Inside,” is poppy, choppy, and a little bit sloppy. Aside from the rather low production quality of the debut EP, the reason for the “sloppy” comment is the fault of the drums. Drummer Jonny Edwards is way too kick-pedal friendly during the verses, and loves his off-beats. I understand the appeal of intricate drum beats, but even Travis Barker knows when to play it cool and keep it simple. Maybe low quality production and unpredictable drum beats are what these boys were going for and I just farted all over their “authenticity,” it just didn’t allow for very smooth listening at times. Sam Thomas’ bass is funky but steady when it needs to be; Joel Hughes’ guitar is heavy, and his voice is badass – like a young, heavy and coked out Ozzy Osbourne combined with The Killers’ soft and sensitive Brandon Flowers.
Opening up with a drum solo that drags on for just a tad too long, “Glitter and Gold” can practically be an homage to Finger Eleven’s “Paralyzer.” (Wait a minute…F15…F11? I see what’s going on here.) Mimicked by the bassline, the main guitar riff is heavy, catchy, and is revisited throughout the song. Edwards really comes through on “Glitter and Gold,” providing a drum beat that is especially catchy and appropriately dynamic during the chorus and, combined with Hughes’ guitar riff, really makes you want to yell at your grandmother and throw heavy objects around the living room. I’d say cut down the Keith Moon drum solo and minute-long instrumental bridge, and these boys are good to go.
“Tonight” is the pussy-soaker track, the one meant to reach out and touch the souls of rich emo girls. With the guitar-driven intro similar to Blink 182’s “Stay Together for the Kids” followed by the heavily distorted guitar and most likely synthetic violin, I can picture the lonely sixteen year old staring hopelessly out the window as her mother does her laundry for her. With the “whoa whoas” during the bridge and the synth during the chorus, Flight 15 definitely went “pop cheese” with this one, but it admittedly kept me listening.
Title track “The Journey” is really the one that takes you all over the place. With the psychedelic underwater-effect intro, tempo change, and the last two-minute instrumental rollercoaster that includes a section that sounds dangerously close to the orchestra in Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Live and Let Die”, you start wondering both where the song will take you next, as well as, “When will it end?” “The Journey” has fluid verses and a solid chorus, but it drags on for too long. It’s the title track – in my opinion, repeat the chorus and end the song at 3:30.
These boys are still fresh on the scene, so I’ll give them that. However, some of these songs could definitely kick ass way harder without all the extra instrumental flair.
Written by Keenan Kerr
*edited by Kate Erickson