Album #94: Flat Worms – Antarctica

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Label: GOD?
  • Best Track: Wet Concrete

I don’t know whether Flat Worms qualify as a ‘supergroup’. All three members are in other bands, with bassist Tim Hellman probably the highest-profile since joining Oh Sees. Their second album, Antarctica, came out on Friday, and this marks my first experience of the band.

My first reaction was that they sound a lot like The Fall, with the raucous, noisy post-punk riffs and spoken vocals, the lines sometimes ending with Mark E. Smith-esque aspirations. On further listening, a more niche reference is the short-lived indie/punk band Ikara Colt, who I thought were superb despite being something of a forgotten early 2000s name.

You can tell as well that this is a Steve Albini production. It’s got that sound of a band all playing together in the smallest, most confined space possible, with the drums particularly raw and explosive. A little over half an hour long, it’s a constant assault meant to be listened to in its entirety, but the best tracks include the crunching and catchy ‘Market Forces’, the gurgling ‘Condo Colony’ and the urgent ‘Wet Concrete’ with its machine-gun drumming in the chorus.

I really like it. Solid, gritty, no-nonsense stuff that rarely stops for a breather

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