“Everything’s a joke, defining ourselves by our social media pages, becoming hysterical recluses. That’s death by internet.” These are the words of Flower frontman Jack Fowler, and these words are the fuel for Flower’s brand new single “Hysteria.”
Listen: “Hysteria” – Flower
“Hysteria” opens with a spliced collage of internet enthusiasts sharing the wonders of the world wide web. “It’s really cool,” says one enthusiast, the kind of nothing statement that seems to be the driving force behind Fowler’s “everything’s a joke” musing. The clips build but then begin to flicker out, setting the stage for a massive drop entrance for Flower’s ripping reaction.
Flower look to level the playing field on “Hysteria.” Fowler sings about being an asshole and how everyone has an asshole. Flower’s method of leveling the playing field is essentially to burn the whole thing to the ground, a quintessential punk rock move. They absolutely bring the necessary, burn-it-to-the-ground energy to the music, producing a wall of sound that makes it hard to believe they are only a three person band.
As we grow more and more dependent on our smartphones and curated social profiles, a song like “Hysteria” feels especially potent. Although, even with Flower’s genuine desire to free people from hitching their self-esteem to likes and retweets, it’s tough to see any real way out of the predicament. The dark irony is that in order for a band to grow in an internet society, they essentially need social media success. That doesn’t rule out Flower though, as it’s believable that people who want to be perceived as social media rebels (on social media) would probably be happy to share a track like “Hysteria.”
All that being said, perhaps Flower’s reaction to play their instruments as ferociously as possible is about all they can do. Once the music is out, it isn’t theirs worry about any longer. People can do what they wish with it. These questions unfortunately evade easy answers, but Flower will certainly look to address some of them on their new album Death by Internet, which drops March 31 via Megafuss Records. The album follows their debut, Waste of Life, another record that dwelled on the meaning of life and reacted with smashing drums and strong guitar lines.
“Hysteria” stands as an enticing look into Death by Internet, which looks to be charged full of frustration and out of control musicality. We look forward to what’s to come.
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cover © Erika Krupansky