The Bristol Sound's not dead, it's just chilling out. Or, in the case of this debut from The Flies, creeping around the seedier back-streets in search of sensual gratification. A trio combining the talents of production duo Bob Locke and Tim Norfolk (best known for their work with Massive Attack and Goldfrapp) with the sly crooning of vocalist Sean Cook, The Flies make sensuous, stealthy music that emulates the depth and mood of Sixties influences like Roy Orbison and The Shangri-Las, within the context of modern production.
The results can be captivating, with echoes of Peggy Lee's "Fever" in the sparse pulse of "Walking On the Sand", and woodwind and marimba combining to sultry effect on the lilting samba "The Temptress". Cook's lyrics evoke the eager torture of sexual addiction, demands eternally unsatisfied in tracks such as "High" and "My Pleasure", while elsewhere he cruelly wields love like a weapon in "Chills" and "No Shame". His attitude is probably best summed up in a line from "We Began", when he claims that "love is a wound we inflict": in which sense, All Too Human is a sort of audio Ai No Corrida.
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