Through The Eyes
Only The Strong
Get Up Again
What I Have To Do
Best I Am
Out Of Whack
One More Time
The major label debut from Flaw is the
perfect counter argument to those who would casually dismiss the nu metal
genre as only simplistic drop tuned guitars pounding out unremitting powerchords
and primal screaming vocals.
Flaw proves that the nu metal style can
be used as a solid foundation for dynamic music. Their songs find a perfect
equilibrium between melody and aggression; they are heavy but still catchy
as hell. Unlike many nu-metal vocalists, Flaws Chris Volz isnt afraid
to show that he can actually sing. He delivers his introspective lyrics
with power and melody, providing vocal hooks where they are needed and
aggressive screams where the songs need that extra push over the cliff
to get the point across.
Much like A Perfect Circle or Factory 81,
Flaw combines elements of a variety of music styles but still delivers
a sound that is both unique and readily identifiable, in other words, when
you listen to any song on this CD while they vary heavily from one another,
you still know youre listening to the same band. Unlike many of their
contemporaries Flaw isnt restrained by the emblematic nu-metal powerchord
driven formula, sure there is plenty of crunch here while at the same time
the musical undercurrent is dynamic, the powerchords take on the proper
role of driving the rhythm not dominating the songs, so that melodic leads
carry the songs forward providing a compelling counterbalance to the vocals.
Flaw gives the nu-metal scene a new vitality
and relevance, instead of resting on the tried and true formula of the
genre; they instead inject new influences and elements into the mix to
help take the style to a whole new level. Simply put, this is how it should
be done, accept no imitators, Flaw is the real deal!
official band bio:
"Why buy three different records to find
the types of songs you like--from an intense wailing song that kids will
dig, to a more ambient and hypnotic tune, when one band does it all?" Flaw
queries. Why indeed, when the 13 tracks on Flaw's dramatic and cohesive
Republic/Universal debut, Through the Eyes, including its aggro, dynamic
and multi-faceted first single, "Payback," cover a wide-ranging emotional
and musical gamut, "heavy" and "melodic" being the common denominators.
But within Flaw's aural and emotional power and honesty, captured deftly
by producer David Bottrill (TOOL, Peter Gabriel), an atmospheric soundscape
prevails, expressing and exorcising vocalist Chris Volz's personal and
"In the past, I've written songs about
current events, but I believe songs and music come from the heart, and
you shouldn't have to use outside references," opines Volz, who, like the
rest of Flaw, resides in Louisville, Kentucky. "Music is very personal
to me," he furthers, "because my adoptive mom, who died when I was 12,
is the one who started me in music. She was an opera singer; she performed
at the Kennedy Center several times and got me into singing."
The song titles only begin to tell the
tale: from the whispered breakdown in "Only the Strong" to the moody intensity
of "What I Have to Do" to the crushing groove of "Reliance," it's clear
Flaw have lived and learned, and use music as a catharsis. Flaw formed
in 1996 around the core of Volz and Jason Daunt. Volz answered an ad in
the local paper. "It said, 'guitar player looking for a singer for an industrial/alternative
band,'" recalls Daunt. "Anything alternative was cool," remembers Volz,
"though industrial wasn't my thing. I just wanted to get back into writing
music again after a rough period in my life." Volz called the ad and found
he lived two blocks from Daunt. The two hooked up that night, each playing
their music for the other.
Soon, both musicians were living in the
rehearsal space: "It was a pretty intense work scene, occasionally a little
partying, but we worked on music when we were awake, crashed out on the
floor at night, then got up and did it over again," Volz recalls.
While rhythm sections came and went, bassist Ryan Jurhs joined in 1997,
and Flaw's direction began to solidify. "Ryan was only a month or two out
of the Marines, and he was playing guitar and singing backup for a band
we knew locally... and we kinda stole him!" Daunt recalls. "In Flaw, he
plays five-string bass and sings background vocals, although he also plays
a lot of different instruments and used to teach guitar. Within a week
of Ryan joining, we recorded our first indie record."
That 1997 disc, the eight-song American
Arrogance, which featured "Reliance" and "Amendment" (both on Through The
Eyes), was recorded with ingenuity. "Well, The Musician's Friend, the musical
ordering catalog, has a 30-day return policy if you're not satisfied,"
explains Volz. "So we ordered all the equipment we could possibly need
to record an album, and then sent the stuff back and said we didn't like
it. So we recorded the album for shipping and handling costs! "None of
us had the income to do anything else. It was either do it that way or
not do it at all," grins Daunt.
The outcome was impressive, and in addition
to scoring openings gigs for acts including Fear Factory and Econoline
Crush, a local radio station, The Fox, spun songs from Flaw's indie disc.
Two more well-received independent records, 1998's Flaw and 2000's Drama
EP, saw Flaw continuing to grow, finalizing its current lineup in 1999
with the addition of second guitarist Lance Arny and drummer Chris Ballinger.
"For a long time, we had only one guitarist," notes Volz. "It got a lot
more atmospheric when Lance joined, and spacier. When you're playing the
kind of driving, heavy alternative music we do, in a live situation, two
guitars sound so much better and fuller." Both Daunt and Arny use seven-string
guitars with standard tuning, but, notes Daunt: "Lance is more the
technical player; I'm more of the live player. As far as the writing, he's
more into atmospheric effects, but I like coming up with odd sounds, things
that guitars aren't really supposed to do."
It's that emotional musical freedom that
works so well with Through the Eyes' ardent lyrics. If there's a theme
throughout the CD, it might be best expressed in "Inner Strength" and be
about "finding your own road and really developing that "inner strength"
part of your personality," explains Volz. "My general focus in lyrics
is about childhood and life being a healing process. My adoptive mother
committed suicide when I was 12," Volz says. "The song 'Whole' is about
her death. Going through her suicide sucked and I wouldn't wish it on anybody,
ever, but in a weird way I wouldn't change it either, because I went through
several years of intensive psychotherapy and different building processes
that aren't in people who don't go through that. I learned so much about
myself and other people. I talk about hurt and how I got through it in
Flaw's music. I'm very personal with lyrics; I don't like to write about
It was that openness and distinct musical
personality that caught Republic's ear when Flaw showcased at New York's
CBGB, leading the label to ink the band in October 2000. Recording commenced
in early 2001 in Los Angeles, at Sound City then Larabee, with Bottrill,
the band's dream producer. "We were totally confident in David's ability
to get the sounds we wanted," enthuses Daunt. "We're fans of his older
work with Peter Gabriel and Aenima, by TOOL encompasses every sound we
have in our arsenal. He had a good feeling for our vision."
That vision is well honed, and as with
everything Flaw does, there's a reason behind it. First, the cover artwork,
featuring a child with his mouth zippered shut, illustrates part of the
Flaw philosophy. "It represents what this album stands for," observes Volz.
"The child doesn't look like he's in pain, but it screams that too many
people don't say what they need to." The band name, too, has a raison d'etre:
"Originally it had a different meaning: we spelled it F. Law. Then we realized
that musically and lyrically, it didn't truly suit us, so we dropped the
period and made the name a bit more general," Volz explains. "We didn't
want to be perceived as a mad-at-the-establishment rock band," Volz concludes.
"Flaw could mean a flaw in your personality, the planet, in your emotions;
it was just more open, like we are. "
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Album Art and Bio courtesy
of Flaw and Universal/ Republic Records. All Rights Reserved by Copyright