As if to reflect the course of musical history, Flies On You’s, initial statement of intent to play “enthusiastically demented punk rock” soon evolved as various post-punk and electronic influences began to seep into the mix. A sell out of core ideals or a band flexing creative muscles? Not that it really matters. The result sounds like a musical montage of the creative explosion that took place in the aftermath of punk, angular Stranglers-esque drives bedecked with chiming, melodic guitars, with occasional meanderings into fringe areas such as the Krautrock vibes of You’re the Anaesthetist, John, the bleak, two-tone explorations of Roofspace and the Cooper-Clarke style spoken word Thank You St. Francis.
You could argue that we have been here before and indeed we have, but there are many reasons for revisiting those formative years. A generation or more has since passed and the cyclical nature of music means that the sound of those times is filtering through to young bands via their parent’s record collections anyway, so why not do it properly? Why not remind people of how eclectic and experimental the approaches were, how poignant and political, how ironically po-faced and yet overtly witty the output, how angsty and direct, yet celebratory and inviting? Punk may have kicked the door in but it was those who followed who took over the squat and threw the all night parties. Etcetera is just a reminder that maybe it is time to start the party again.