Flowers to Hide: Down the Stairs EP
Since the Beatles, British rock bands have always held a certain mystique in the U.S. While it's no surprise that American bands keep churning out albums that mimic their counterparts from across the pond, it's puzzling how the lesser-known stateside bands are often better. Maybe it's because their music is a bit rawer and their egos aren't as inflated as those of the limeys.
Such is the case with Houston's Flowers to Hide, who take their name from a song by Brits the Catherine Wheel. Long known for the rockin' "Here Comes the Tide" and hometown ode "Space City," the band, with producer Steve Christensen (of Sugar Hill Studios), has honed its Anglophilia into a cohesive, if brief, four-song EP, the first-ever physical release in seven years of existence. While neither of the crowd-pleasing numbers mentioned above appears here, the EP nevertheless mixes the anthemic, fist-pumping qualities of Oasis with the low-key shoegazey feedback of Ride, and positively gushes glimmers of glam.
Down the Stairs is all about the guitars — Jonathan Espeche and Michael San Luis work in tandem to create walls of sound and atmospherics interspersed with inspired, wailing solos, and Flowers to Hide is in top form on "503," the low-key "Sometime Maybe Never Again" and "Lady Snow," an '80s throwback that immediately brings to mind any number of big-haired English new wave bands from that era. Like most independent Britrock-obsessed bands (Voyager One, the Warlocks and Frausdots spring to mind), Flowers to Hide isn't breaking any new ground, but the fact that it's one of the few bands in Houston making music like this — and this catchy — makes it that much more special. As singer-guitarist Stephen Anderson sings on "Sometime Maybe Never Again": "We're in love with being odd."
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