Josh Flagg “Tracing Shapes”
When we first saw the name, we expected Josh Flagg to be ‘yet another’ slow paced and quiet singer song writer. However, when the press release made reference to the Foo Fighters and also talked about a third guitarist being added to the live line up, it made us sit up and give the album a listen.
First song “The Floor It Shakes” makes it immediately clear that Josh is not some remorseful singer songwriter. It’s an up-tempo, rocking affair with a hint of pop about it. Things get even more power poppy on the instantly enjoyable “Take Me On” and “One Shot”. They’re the kind of songs you just wished were blasting out of the radio on a sunny day.
“Setting Suns” has the chugging guitar line against clear vocals and then added harmonies which has us recalling the legendary Cheap Trick. Many of the songs, like “Transmitter Park” and “How Long” are finely crafted pop/rock songs. You sense that with the right promotion, and maybe a bit of luck, there’s no reason why they couldn’t generate the sort of mass volume appeal of bands like Maroon 5 or Train. A slightly more obscure reference might be SR71. Like that band, songs like “Black Ink Birds” and “Telepathy” walk a fine line between edgier/US alternative rock and a more commercial pop/rock sound.
That’s probably the biggest challenge Josh Flagg faces. For an absurd reason most critics are keener on pushing a band with ‘gimmicks’ or ‘a look’ than those with the ability to write good songs! Any of the tracks on this album could easily be picked up by radio or a popular TV soundtrack and see Josh’s star rise quickly. In the meantime, if you like finely crafted pop/rock songs, why not pick this up and give him a helping hand!!