There’s no mystery in what you’re going to get from Josh Flagg.
“I like a lot of power pop,” Flagg told The Listening Room. “I like short songs. I don’t like a lot of guitar solos and things like that. I sort of come from Big Star, Posies, you know, Superdrag. Those are sort of the touchstones for a lot of what we do with the band. Just short, concise rock songs that you can’t get out of your head is sort of the goal.”
And that’s just what Flagg delivers with brash finesse on Devastate Me, his first full length album that’s scheduled for release today. That will be followed by two release parties, staring with Thursday’s 8 PM gig at The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery at 2nd Street in the Big Apple, and a follow up show Friday at The Grape Room in Philly.
Devastate Me delivers 11 tunes that exemplify Flagg’s idea of contemporary music — catchy tunes with a pop feel and a raunchy delivery. While his influences are clear, his sound is singularly his own in both music and lyric.
After releasing some of his old catalog in a 2009 EP, Flagg says the new full-length release features a host of new tunes he’s penned in the past two years.
“The EP sort of got rid of a lot,” he said. “It was sort of a clearing house for a lot of the older stuff, so this is all fairly new to the record. Some of the songs, we never even played live before.”
“I didn’t think we were going to do a whole record,” Flagg added. “My idea was sort of do another EP. Tim O’Heir, our producer, when I met him to talk about it he was like, ‘No, you just have to do a record.’ So we just powered through it. Actually, the ones that were brand new turned out the best, I feel, because they had so much energy.”
But like every up and coming rocker, Flagg is hardly a new kid on the block. He was just in grade school when his father taught him the mandolin, and was playing clubs in Philadelphia by 13.
Now he’s set out on a new musical mission and a fresh collection of tunes borne out of his years on stage and, now, in the studio. And Flagg says he’ll be out there again, albeit with less abandon than in his younger years.
“Me and Scott Campbell, who’s the drummer, have toured around for years doing our own projects and different projects,” he said. “This band has just really only been out for the past six months and we’re starting to play up and down the Northeast from Portland, Me., down to D.C. and everywhere in between.”
“But we’ll be out in Chicago and L.A. during this year,” Flagg said. “We’re not going to tour like mad men like we used to, but we’re certainly going to get out there.”
It starts on Thursday at the Bowery, so give him a listen and stop by for the show.
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