by Joel Parmer (@cup_of_joel)
Cleveland-rooted now Seattle-based, Fluung, formed in 2017 and can best be described as an “amp worship” rock band. After only a year or so playing together, Fluung has quickly honed in on and developed a unique take on the jam band songwriting style. Their first full-length album Satellite Weather came out at the start of this year and pays homage to many legendary acts of decades past.
It all began when drummer Drew Davis moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Olympia, Washington in 2015. A couple of years after that guitarist/singer Donald Wymer also transplanted. After the release of Satellite Weather, Fluung remains a three piece group. Their original bassist left the band after the album came out and new bassist Joe Holcomb (of Seattle group Dusty) has since joined the lineup. By joining forces with Dylan Hanwright (of Great Grandpa, Apples with Moya) at both Wormhole Recordings and Buttermilk Studios, Fluung carefully crafted a debut album that absolutely lives up to the group’s potential.
Fluung is invested in exploring new ideas to further push their sound and have remained motivated by pivotal indie rock bands that became famous for emphasizing the power of the jam. Wymer explains: “Drew and I are very similarly inspired by Neil Young, Dinosaur Jr, Built to Spill - a lot of bands with a lot of material and a penchant for loud ass amps.” Their music can also be compared to groups like Polvo, Archers of Loaf, and Flake Music.
Intro track “Not Just Complaining” immediately familiarizes the ear with Wymer’s warbly, tremolo-arm heavy, guitar playing and sonic ‘formula for destruction through the riff.’ This track pounds the ears with the uncompromising drum style of Davis. It pulverizes your memory through fuzzy hooks and vocals that are just distorted enough. The short guitar lead at the end of the song refrains from going full-blown guitar solo, and alludes to what’s coming later in the album.
“American Money” keeps the pace strong; the intro riff is one that could loop for twice as long without getting stale. As the guitar drops out of the mix and vocals enter, drums and bass pulse on without hesitation. The little guitar fills all over the place are a perfect flair to rebuilding the song, and each time the initial riff repeats shreddy variations break up any monotony that otherwise may have grown.
The song “Smokercraft” ebbs and flows by perpetuating a blues-injected feel against a warbled, alt-rock chorus. The lyrics seem to be fueled by relatable daily anxieties with lines like: “Can’t wrap my head around what it is I've found. The feeling of the ground moving, the wind without the sound” and “There are three black clouds above me and i'm thinking about lightning.” Also, the guitar solo in this song is impossible to miss. Simply put: it rips!
As the album descends, new phases of Fluung’s songwriting emerge. “Spirit Well” and “Selfish Son” feature impressive lap steel guitar performances by Dan Paul. Acoustic guitar heavy tracks like “Great Question” are borderline ballad-esque for the group, and accompanied with backing vocals by Melissa Kullman (as well as on earlier song “Corduroy Corvette”).
If you aren’t involved in the Seattle (or Ohio) music scenes, there’s honestly a decent chance you’ve missed Fluung’s new record Satellite Weather. If you are unfamiliar, and you enjoy rock music at any caliber, their jams just might make your ears gyrate with bliss.