I’ve been under the weather the past few days and haven’t been able to do as much as I would have preferred; however, with the massive snowstorm we received here in the NYC area, there wasn’t much that could have been done anyway, and I honestly needed the rest. Now, earlier this monthI wrote about Atlanta, GA-based indie rock band Flower. And as the story went, the band’s frontman and primary Jack Fowler had written the material off the band’s soon-to-be released album Waste of Life, while his life had felt as though it were in a holding pattern. Although he had a busy year as the frontman of exwhy, who had signed to Other People Records and toured with renowned indie acts Pujol and Knox Hamilton, Fowler desperately wanted to focus on revealing his vulnerable side — and in turn, felt a need to write material that was informed and inspired by other aspects of his own life; in fact, Waste of Life is heavily informed by Fowler’s experience as a 9-5 officer done. As Fowler has explained in press notes “I was working a pretty decent office job and doing absolutely nothing beyond working and getting depressed. I was just spinning my wheels and growing bored and really depressed. I was struggling with talking to people, being social at all. That’s the core of this album—anxiety and not being sure how to define yourself. ” Certainly, if you’re creative or just didn’t quite know what you wanted to actually do with yourself, those feelings of depression, anxiety and utter worthlessness is familiar. Odds are that you’ve lived that every single moment of your waking life — and you’ve dreamt of quitting to write a book, record an album or to just regain your dignity.
“Dreams,” which I wrote about three weeks ago possessed a pent up frustration over ambitions, hopes and a life that seem indefinitely stalled from some larger, unmoving (and unrelenting), outside force and not having an idea as to what would be the best thing to do next; so the song’s narrator winds up sitting inert and inactive on the sidelines out of fear of fucking everything up — and yet, hating himself for his inability to do anything at all. And despite the song’s desperation and hopelessness, there’s a subtle sense of hope; that things will get better and that somehow life will push you in the direction you need to be going even if you were unaware of it. Sonically, the song was reminiscent of The Smiths and 80s post-punk as it paired bitter and confused sentiments with anthemic hooks, layers of shimmering guitar and driving rhythms.
Wasted Life’s latests single “Deadly Ill” may arguably be one of the more deceitfully straightforward post-punk songs on the album, as the anthemic hooks the band seems to specialize in are paired with thundering and propulsive drumming, angular guitar chords and an urgent desperation of someone who seems to be at the end of their rope with everyone and everything. But the irony at the core of the song is that the song’s narrator is trapped between a terrible certainty and an unknowable, unpredictable uncertainty. If you’ve been there the song feels as though it’s talking about your own personal experience in some way.