by: Tom Sosnoski
The Czech Republic’s Flash the Readies released their latest album In Belvedere on Full Moon recently, and since it’s always nice to know what’s going on overseas, I’m more than happy to have taken a look at it. Formed back in 2006, Flash the Readies seem to have a pretty clear idea of what they’re trying to achieve with In Belvedere. The band have taken concept and theme in an interesting direct for this one, having paired the music with an original comic book to flesh out the atmosphere of the whole experience. Comics and music go well together, no one can deny it, so the idea of tailoring one specifically for the tone and vision of the music itself is an experiment that could take immersion to a deeper level.
Chances are that if you’re not a resident of, or visiting the Czech Republic, you’re going to have a bit of a time getting your hands on the full experience. The album itself is available for streaming and download on the group’s Bandcamp page, but that’s only half of it after all. You might have to fork out some shipping fees, but for comic fans and music enthusiasts alike it might be too interesting a proposition to pass on.
As for the music itself, expect a very atmospheric approach to progressive rock that takes a mostly sombre tone throughout In Belvedere. There’s a nice balance between instrumental indulgence and a more formal song structure here. Flash the Readies know when to take time to linger and when to keep things moving, which makes an interesting prospect if the comic attempts to keep a similar thematic and tonal pace with the album itself. In short, the comic has my interest peaked if you can’t tell.
For me, the album doesn’t really begin to open up until about four songs in. It’s not that the first few tracks are weaker than the rest, but rather that the feel for what the album is going for doesn’t really set in until you’ve spent a little time getting immersed in it. Repeat listens are a must for this record, allowing the instrumental segments to really flourish once you’re familiar with how it all pans out. Take your time with it, is what I’m saying. Check out the band’s Bandcamp for a listen, which you’ll find linked on their website www.flashthereadies.com .