Back with their second full-length album, Floodland has recently launched their newest album, ‘Static Walls.’ Focused on innovation and reinvention, ‘Static Walls’ covers a broad spectrum of genres, from hard rock to acoustic indie jams, with each track exploring the band’s potential in a new direction. With much of the album recorded live, Floodland delivers a raw, authentic sound that ties the whole album together regardless of the specific song’s style.
Static Walls opens hard and fast with ‘Coriolis.’ Encompassing all of Floodland’s best features all bundled together in one track, ‘Coriolis’ is a blend of slick guitar riffs, catchy vocal hooks, infectious rhythm and even a smooth breakdown section partway through to change up the pacing. Building on the intensity, Floodland follows up with ‘CDQ,’ an even more pumped-up hard rock track and one of the strongest songs on the album, overtaken by intense vocals, wailing guitars, unstoppable vigour and a pulse-pounding beat.
The featured song of their latest music video, ‘Tangled,’ is three and a half minutes of upbeat garage-rock mosh pit fuel. Driven by conflicted lyrics, a chorus of three-part harmonies and layers of musical complexity, ‘Tangled’ is a track where, quite fittingly, a lot is happening at once. Throughout it all, though, Floodland doesn’t lose sight of what makes it work as a song.
While ‘Static Walls’ may have begun with the energy of their heavier rock tracks, the album’s second half highlights Floodland’s softer side, with the bulk of the tracks focused on complexity and lyricism rather than pure energy. Subtler, mellow tracks like ‘Sun in Her Eyes,’ ‘Sonder,’ and ‘Hurricane’ all hinge on Floodland’s ability to deliver calm grooves as well as they do hard rock. ‘Sun in Her Eyes’ embraces the soaring guitar and harmonized choruses of classic rock, channelling some of the more relaxed sounds of The Eagles or The Beatles. The despondent lyrical musings of ‘Sonder’ are laid out in a hypnotic rhythm over a smooth, indie-folk inspired acoustic sound that manifests in ‘Hurricane,’ a subtle yet complex track with slow-building energy and haunting harmonies.
‘Static Walls’ brings itself to an end with ‘Scarce’ and ‘Fiona,’ two tracks that pair perfectly together for a satisfying conclusion to the album. Much of ‘Scarce’ is spent focusing on some of the most compelling electric guitar melodies on the album, with the song’s intensity and vocals escalating to a dramatic end. ‘Fiona’ begins as a fairly simple, slow-paced ballad lamenting a difficult relationship, but as the song develops, it grows to an almost theatrical level. The song (and the album itself) concludes in a drawn out, large-scale choral ending in the vein of ‘Hey Jude’ or stylings of The Polyphonic Spree. In the wrong hands, this ambitious finale piece would probably seem grandiose, tacky and forced, but Floodland sticks the landing with a gentle introspection that’s legitimately surprising when contrasted with the intensity of the opening tracks.
Overall, ‘Static Walls’ is a compelling listen, some parts straightforward and fun, and some a bold statement of Floodland’s abilities as musicians, but enjoyable throughout. Complex and well-put together, the album keeps things fresh and maintains its quality from start to finish with a consistent passion and energy. This album may signal a new direction for Floodland’s sound, but if this is where they’re headed, we’re happy to be along for the ride.