This was originally posted to The Flenser Facebook group.
The Flenser Facebook Group was created in February 2019 and made public around the first of March. It has been instrumental in Flenser 2019, the most rewarding year yet for The Flenser. This group has given a voice to a community that has existed in various forms for years. I am extremely grateful if you’ve contributed, lurked, or just recently joined.
2019 was a year in which every Flenser release has done well by our own measurements. We have accomplished most of my internal goals for each project, and I feel that we have done good by our by our artists.
I’m especially glad that people seemed to really get Elizabeth Colour Wheel, a band that has grabbed onto onto something that’s not yet defined and I look forward to seeing them grow in 2020.
Sea of Worry was released in 2019 and the reviews as expected were divisive and interesting. Some think that it’s brilliant and others feel disappointed that it does not sound enough like the bands beloved earlier work. It has long been my view that bands should not repeat themselves and should always continue to attempt evolve even at great risks. The risk is that that you will get a record like Metallica’s “St. Anger” which is a forced aimless train-wreck with a dumb drum sound. Sea of Worry is not Saint Anger but a distinct moment in time in the life of the band.
I’m glad that Dan and Tim chose to capture Have a Nice Life in 2018–19, a band about to play live on a larger scale for the first time instead of attempting to be a bedroom project on steroids. That moment will never happen again. I feel that Sea of Worry sits nicely in the arc of bands discography and I look forward to seeing how it ages with many allusions to the lore of bands earlier work that seem to still have gone unnoticed. I also really appreciate the the catchier pop punk moments. That resonates with my personal early exposure to the punk scene formally found in the Mission district of San Francisco many years ago.
It was also a pleasure getting to spend more time with Dan and Tim, as well as Rich, Myke, Cody, and Joe and see them perform a number of times this past year. The highlight, of course being the performance of Deathconsciouness in front of a massive crowd at the 013 venue at Roadburn in Netherlands which is something I will never forget. The Flenser hometown show in San Francisco later in the year was also a personal highlight. Thom really nailed that one and Jordan from All Your Sisters performed like a damned industrial man-god.
Next year lots of good things are coming.
The new Midwife album is absolutely crushing. It’s largely about the death of a close friend and constructs an extremely sad and relatable narrative that I think will resonate with many of us that have experienced loss in various forms. For me Midwife is able to successfully take on universal themes and make them feel extremely personal as if crafted individually for each listener.
Sprain’s full-length is currently in the mixing stage and sounds really interesting and heavy. I feel very lucky to have been able to bring aboard this one. The bands ability to challenge the influences of the post-rock/math rock material and create something that feels current and singular Is exciting.
Mamaleek have completed work on a full-length with the live band! It sounds very psychedelic. I don’t want to say too much about this one yet but it’s a very interesting record that does not sound like the bands past work. Check out the live videos of Mamaleek’s Elbo Room performance on our YouTube.
Yesterday I got to listen to a few Elizabeth Colour Wheel demos and they sound amazing. Not sure when the next record will come out but I can assure you that we have reason to be extremely excited about this one.
Series Two’s mystery release is going to be a very cool collaboration featuring a couple of familiar faces. The album is not finished. No spoilers.
Giles Corey reissues are coming
Lots of new merch is coming. Next merch drop should be mid/late January. We are going to increase the variety of merch and hopefully the frequency of new shirt designs in the coming year.
Many tours are in the works. If All Your Sisters is playing anyway where near you in 2020, GO SEE THEM. The current live show is absolutely next level.
A big thank you to the following non-inclusive list of people
Artists from our 2019 releases:
All Your Sisters
Elizabeth Colour Wheel
Wreck and Reference
Have a Nice Life
An extra big thank you to Flenser accounting man, artist, writer, and spicy mailorder demon Bryan Manning.
Stephanie Marlow, our publicist of many years who absolutely killed it this year.
Suzanne Yermin who did much of the design work on all things Flenser 2019.
Kyle Bates who worked extremely hard on two brilliant releases and helped with Flenser behind the scenes.
Everyone that took a chance on Series One.
Everyone that engaged with our artists, wrote about our bands, promoted shows, bought merch.
Dan and Tim, and Rich, Myke, Cody, and Joe.
Walter and Becky and everyone else at Roadburn and 013.
All the new/old friends I connected with at the various events around the world this past year.
Happy New Year.
PS I listened to St. Anger while writing the above. All typos should be blamed on that.