WILL IVY of FLAT WORMS – Song For Ewe

Flat Worms photograph by Owen Schmit

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today it’s the guitarist/vocalist of a band who I absolutely love, so much so that I bought the T-shirt (at an Oh Sees gig they supported on) – Flat Worms. There’s not many bands who you could basically get your entire sustenance from – The Fall, Mudhoney, Thee Oh Sees for me – and Flat Worms are well on the way with another scissor-kicking suite of sweet songs on brand new album “Antarctica” to join with other stone cold classics – the self-titled debut, and last year’s “Into The Iris” EP. And on The Mighty Fall forum, a take-no-prisoners ultra discerning place where plenty of bands could wither on the vine, there’s a ground swell of support for this LA power trio that is no mean feat. We’ve already been lucky enough on these pages to have bassist Tim Hellman (also of aforementioned legends Oh Sees) choose a song, and Justin Sullivan (also of Night Shop) too, so it’s awesome to achieve the triumvirate – welcome to these pages the curly follicled man in the blue rinsed pic above – the unstoppable force that is Will Ivy!

“Antarctica” (out on Drag City imprint, GOD? Records on 10th April) was engineered by Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studio, with regular producing cohort Ty Segall on hand too, and it’s fittingly as it transpires about isolation. It’s also full of incisive social commentary delivered with Ivy’s delicious deadpan and metallic guitar abrasions, not to mention the bulldozing rhythm section emerging like a locomotive out of a cartoon tunnel drawn by Wil-E-Coyote. Check out the single “The Aughts” (seemingly yesterday to me, but apparently over a decade ago)…

“The Aughts” was recorded in one blistering take, and written while Will was visiting the Tombs of the Kings archeological site in Cyprus, the ruins of elaborate and luxurious tombs for the wealthy and landed of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. This had struck Ivy as emblematic of the “mood of our new century: growing apocalyptic tension, fallen empires, our anxiety laid bare”. Who could have predicted how much rawer the anxiety could get? “Antarctica” as a whole is definitely bitterly angry but deeply cathartic, an album of full-pelt rippers and resonating Dropped D chord bangers. If you miss the broken E strings of Unwound, and the 90s sound of the Pacific North West, thrown into a tussle with the even crazier, faster, more uncertain times circa now, then this is the band for you. And as if you needed further persuasion, check out the lead single “Market Forces”…

It’s a scorchio set of tunes and make no mistake but never mind the hyperbole, here’s Will Ivy of Flat Worms with a “song for ewe”…

“Bo Diddley “Mumblin’ Guitar”

“I came across this Bo Diddley instrumental recently and thought it was perfect. It has a very energetic and noisy proto-punk feel, especially for a record that came out in 1960.

The drums accelerate the song forward and chords flash in and out while Bo Diddley mostly approaches the guitar like a noise maker. It sounds like exotica and no wave simultaneously. I can’t imagine what it was like to be at one of their shows at the time.

Great for anyone looking for a soundtrack during a bank heist.””

THANKS SO MUCH TO WILL IVY AND TO SEAN NEWSHAM AT MUTANTE. 

Flat Worms photo by Mojojo.jojojo

More on Flat Worms here on the Drag City site:

https://www.dragcity.com/artists/flat-worms

And pre-order “Antarctica” here:

https://www.dragcity.com/products/antarctica

(or at your local indie record shop)

If you still haven’t got your fill of the Flat Worms (and there’s always, always room for more) here are the “song for ewe” choices from Justin Sullivan and Tim Hellman…

JUSTIN SULLIVAN of NIGHT SHOP & FLAT WORMS – Song For Ewe

TIM HELLMAN of FLAT WORMS & OH SEES – Song For Ewe

 

Author: Nick Hutchings

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