Certain words need to make a comeback into the vernacular, and ‘flummox’ is one of them. Meaning to confuse or bewilder, it’s apt then that the eponymous Tennessee band completely embody this concept. If you thought you understood genre-bending and blending, then this will be cause for recalibration. With the genre of their music hopping among the sounds of heavy rock, funk, extreme metal, jazz fusion, progressive rock, avant-garde, bluegrass, power pop, to doo-wop, the band truly didn’t plan on limiting the bounds of what they played to a particular demographic.
On their latest record, Intellectual Hooliganism, the bar has been raised yet again. ‘Tom Walker Blues’ is, of course, a Satanic punk song that careens into and out of Sabbathian doom, while proggy jazz fusion meets heavy metal on ‘Black Philip’. Flutes, kazoo, wild solos and a thick bass tone jostle for attention, often within the same song. Blake Dellinger is a veritable showman of the Patton school; he croons, belts, growls and shrieks with equal poise. And yet, despite the unholy debacle going on inside the eardrums, it all somehow just works. The volatile swings across different genre spectrums is jarring yet enjoyable – a testament to the band’s innate understanding of songwriting and musicianship.
This weirdness is far from a pigeonholing experience – if anything, it allows them to reach a wide range of audiences. They’ve already played shows with The Obsessed, Eyehategod, Fable Cry, Chuck Mosley of Faith No More, Black Crown Initiate, Howling Giant, Iron Man, Mos Generator & Dee Calhoun, to name a few. Their stage shows have become more elaborate as more members have been added – including most recent addition Parker Lampley who has a background in theater as well as her incredible multi-instrumentalism. Beholden to no one and nothing, Flummox will do what they damn well please – and end up flummoxing us all in the process.
Intellectual Hooliganism is due out via Wood and Stone Production on September 7th (pre-order here).
Listen to the track ‘A Bundle of Sticks’ here: