Glimmer EP is the latest dark alternative rock record of Illinois artist Alex Riggeen aka The House Flies. Riggen who features on vocals, guitars, drum programming, and mellotron weaves a stunning tapestry of high artistry. This is a side project of Alex as he’s vocalist, guitarist, and keys player on grunge metal band Murnau. The EP contains four tracks and runs for sixteen minutes.
The music is derived from the darker tradition of goth, post punk, and shoegaze music. One could describe it as stoner, doom rock, or Joy Division meets mellow doom My Bloody Valentine meets The Cure. With some eclectic and inventive synth expressive lick commences the first track on the record, Hounds. Featuring some great textural use of rhythm guitars. A sense of impending doom is created while keeping you hypnotized and hooked. Sequin, the second song, begins with a gritty bass line with the picking audible. How tasty is the sound of noise and imperfection! Then begins a wall of shoegaze guitars and a simple elegant snare drum groove. The seemingly simple groove makes a great application of syncopation for great effect.
On Blue, the bass again is the skeleton on which the vocal weave a warm romantic gloomy tale. Kick and snare with the metallic bass coming in pushes us into the final track Apple. Haunting droned guitar lines with layered vocals greet us on the structure of the song. We are greeted with some stunning imaginative synth work in the middle section of the song. The perfect conclusion to the EP with all the dark murky energies expressed in an apt manner. Dazzling work by The House Flies!
Glimmer is an exciting blend that seamlessly merges its influences to create a unique and captivating sound. The brooding and atmospheric tone and the driving basslines with cloudy distorted guitar rhythms of showcase Riggeen’s post-punk influences. A nod to the shoegaze genre is felt with its lush layers of guitar and ethereal vocals. Rigger’s impressive ability to blend these genres together in a cohesive and captivating way is stunning.
The EP features a dark and moody sound with a strong emphasis on atmospheric elements via the perfect application of reverb and delay. The vocals are often layered and ethereal, adding to the dreamy and introspective tone of the music. The basslines are prominent and driving, providing a solid foundation for the rest of the instruments. The programmer drums are precise serving the songs with adequate finesse. The production is a crystal with each instrument and element sitting perfectly in the mix. Overall, the EP creates an immersive and enveloping soundscape that draws the listener in and keeps them hooked.
Ultimately, Glimmer EP by The House Flies is a deeply emotional journey with the spirit of dark rock surrounding us.