Boomkat Product Review:
Welsh post-punks Chain of Flowers find a levitational space between Joy Division, Talk Talk and The Cure on "Never Ending Space", their long-awaited second album.
The pandemic album might be a cliche at this stage, but it's a reality for many bands and artists who were given a long spell of relative inactivity to work out where they wanted to head creatively. "Never Ending Space" was formed during lockdown, when Chain of Flowers relocated to London from Cardiff to extend a handful of songs into a proper full-length. The time and focus was important to the band, who'd been stewing over the direction of their sophomore album since the release of their acclaimed self-titled debut in 2015. And it was worth the wait: "Never Ending Space" realizes their vision artfully, diluting their anthemic post-punk poetics with cavernous shoegaze reverberations and the kind of high-minded instrumentation (trumpets, saxophones) that isolated Talk Talk from the rest of the scene in 1988.
The band's cosmic coruscations shine through most vividly on memorable stand-outs like 'Amphetamine Luck' and 'Serving Purpose'. On the latter, frontman Joshua Smith bellows like it's 1982 over jangling riffs and druggy synths, letting the percussive drive of the track blur into white noise - it's a pop song, just about, but smudged into an echo of forced nostalgia and strangled contemporary hope. We're most excited about the band's more low-key movements mind you, like the David Sylvian-esque 'Praying Hands, Turtle Doves' that stifles the pace and fleshes out the instrumentation, building a neo-fourth world atmosphere out of hollow percussion, twinkling electronics and brassy inflections. Strong stuff.