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Premiere: Flooding - Flooding

Flooding. Photo by Patrick Kennedy.

Don't worry, nerds. You don't have to pump iron to get into Community Gym. The new Lawrence, Kansas label/collective includes the music of Window Seat (Rose Brown), Output (Zach Cunningham, Matthew Brittain), Guest Service (f.k.a. That's It, It's Over; Cole Billings, Brittain, Cunningham), Cole Billings solo (assuming he gets back to it), and Flooding (Billings, Brown, Cunningham). Apologies for the info dump there, but TLDR, if a piece of music has the Community Gym stamp on it, you should probably check it out.

The latest drop from the college town crew is the self-titled debut album from Flooding. The release doesn't run much longer than half an hour but is mesmerizing to the point where those 30 minutes can feel like an eternity, in a good way -- the group acknowledges this otherworldly phenomenon in its Bandcamp bio which reads "angel breath hell ballads." The angel breath I reckon is in reference to Brown's whispered vocals, the hell ballads being the often grim lyrics she's reading you (as well as the pained backing vocals screamed by bassist Cole Billings, which can be observed on album closer "Gomez.")

The band's intuitive soft-loud dynamics are not only demonstrated through their whispers and screams, but also in moments where Brown's slowcore guitar plucking is abruptly interrupted by fuzz pedal, space rock blasts she and her band hit in unison. It's perfect for the college radio crowd, which makes sense considering both Brown and Billings have spent time as DJs at KU's KJHK. I'm also excited to witness the band live. I picture unwitting bar patrons chatting amongst themselves through the quieter moments before experience a sort of whiplash and bout of frustration when a loud part kicks in, forcing them out onto a patio (maybe it's raining). Suffice to say, Flooding deserves your undivided attention.

Stream or download the album below or stream it on all major platforms. The band is playing our October 1 gig at 22/32 with Sidestep and Perfume. Details on that show here.


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