Younger Days

Fatal Flowers

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Younger Days Review

by Quint Kik

Around the release of Younger Days, Dutch music critics were arguing whether Fatal Flowers or Claw Boys Claw were Holland's hottest band of the moment. In doing so, they ignored each band's distinctiveness. Although both evolved from the local punk scene of Amsterdam (known as "Amsterdam School of Guitar"), their musical approach sounded very different. Beside that, they went along fine and respected each other's work. Competition probably only existed in the heads of self-consumed journalists. On Fatal Flowers' second album the lineup consisted of Richard Janssen, Marco Braam, Henk Jonkers, and Dirk Heuff, who had just replaced Erwin Wolters on guitar. Upon entering the music scene, they all had agreed to put all of their time and effort exclusively into the band, something which was not regarded as common practice by most of their colleagues. Their iron discipline resulted in a repertoire of catchy rock songs and an exciting live performance. With Younger Days they did more than improve upon their debut mini-album, Fatal Flowers. Although the sound is at times a little over-produced -- Vic Maile wasn't able to catch their energetic live appearance -- it still offers the blueprint for the band's creativity. Part of Younger Days reminds of the Dutch "Nederbiet" movement. However, the influence of the '60s shouldn't be overexaggerated, for their sound showed just as much familiarity with the '80s. For instance, the classic rock of the title track (a minor hit in the Netherlands) is placed beside the new wave bliss of "Ballroom." The latter is among the best tracks on this album, which further includes the desperate plea of "Nowhere to Lay My Head" and the "murder-ballad" "Well Baby, Pts. 1 & 2," a second single drawn from Younger Days which failed to make the charts. Much like Daryll-Ann during the '90s, Fatal Flowers made Dutch rock music exciting and most relevant outside the Netherlands.

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