Flaspar – Quadruple Trouble 7”
Natrix Natrix, 2006
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2012
In which a Las Vegas band unleashes four different versions of their single “Double Trouble.” I’d applaud them for the clever title, but four versions of “Double Trouble” should be called Octuple Trouble, right? RIGHT?! Anyway, I’m not here to nitpick album titles (at least not today), I’m here to nitpick “Double Trouble.” To the band’s credit, they moved out of the desert to Portland. I can only presume the Killers ran them out of town so they could have sole claim over that bizarre and terrible place. Flaspar themselves fell victim to the mid-00s dance-punk phase that ruined the rhythm section of many a band from roughly 2002-2007. Or maybe it’s just not my thing, but either way those dance-punk drumbeats are the cheesy sax solo of the 00s. The trouble with putting four versions of the same song on a 7” is that if the song isn’t inspiring enough and the remixes aren’t diverse enough, you’re pretty much digging your own grave. Which is pretty much exactly what Flaspar did here. “Double Trouble” ain’t no “Mr. Brightside,” but it’s serviceable. It plays with those neo-soul vocals Of Montreal were rocking in 2006 and if you can ignore the now dated-sounding drums the song is kind of groovy. I wouldn’t call in requesting it, but I probably wouldn’t change the station if it came on the radio. The “Problem Solver” remix pretty much sounds exactly like the original except those awful drums are pushed front and center (at least it’s mercifully short). The “Need More Confusion” remix beefs the thing up with dirty synthesizers and pitch shifts the vocals so the singer sounds like an 8-year-old Japanese girl. The “Extended Instrumental” remix does a minimalist stripping down of “Double Trouble” and is nothing but drums and a synthesized melody that sounds like the last words of a dying computer. In the background an electric guitar solo wails and wails underneath the hauntingly bad drums. It’s not even the drummer’s fault! There’s just something about that drum sound that makes me queasy.