The Sicilian

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With their second album, Oakland, CA's Fleshies don't change any of what worked so well on their 2001 Alternative Tentacles debut, Kill the Dreamer's Dream. The quartet is still drunk on sonic fury. Vocalist Johnny No Moniker's wail is still a raw incisor dangling by one exposed root. And song titles like "Maelstrom of Whirling Bullshit" and "This Is the City Where All the Dirty Assholes Are Safe" make it clear that the band hasn't diluted its cynical, Howard Beale-istic take on overdriven punk rock. Like their compatriots in the Tight Bros from Way Back When and Bible of the Devil, the Fleshies rarely take the bus out of gear, choosing instead to simply depress the brake and the gas pedal, so that each between-song pause is shattered by another full-speed blast of blowsy cock rock. "Don't Hate Me for the Reward" and "Pisces Revenge" are standouts, full of psychotic guitar riffing and No Moniker's unbridled yelps and shrieks. Unlike many California bands inspired by the state's punk and hardcore pioneers, there's no pop aftertaste to the Fleshies' 40-ouncer. The Sicilian is high-octane malt liquor madness, straight up. While this is good for many, it's bad for some. If you're a fan of attention to song structure, discernable lyrics, or sugary hooks, the Fleshies aren't for you. Conversely, if you believe that elaborate pop hooks are for turkeys, meaningful lyrics are overrated, and bar chords will never go out of style, then by all means order a copy of The Sicilian, and ask for a chaser of Wild Turkey.

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