Flat Worms, the Los Angeles-based trio of Will Ivy (guitar), Tim Hellman (bass) and Justin Sullivan (drums), announce their new album, Antarctica, out April 10th on Drag City imprint, God? Records, and share lead single, “Market Forces.” Antarctica is for people invested in the future, despite a world in flames, deserts in permafrost, and everyone in their own corners, looking down into their hands. It considers the chaotic, dysfunctional contemporary landscape and reflects a situation that’s dire, but not hopeless.
Since the release of their 2017 debut LP – even since last year’s “Into the Iris” mini-LP – Flat Worms’ sound has hardened, with the polarities of psych and post-punk smelted into a brutal cobalt alloy. No doubt they’re aided by the Steve Albini-engineered sound rendered at Electrical Audio, where the album was recorded and mixed (in collaboration with Albini and Ty Segall) in six days. The rest of the evolution is down to Flat Worms, whose world view and musical viewpoint pulse with a remorseless drive and a sense of collaborative unity. Ivy’s cortex-scorching guitar leads are in united space with the full-body rhythm of Hellman’s bass and Sullivan’s drums.
Flat Worms’ social comment, bleak, yet earnest, is leavened with bone dry humour (the title track’s isolation conundrums: “My dog is smiling as I drive her to the park / we sit together in the kitchen after dark / I ask her questions / She just barks”) and caustic pronouncements. Lead single “Market Forces” kicks the modern malaise of alienation from our over-commodified social media mirror image. As market forces drives feels to capitalise on later, Flat Worms ask: Are you really helpless in this dynamic?
Commitment. Intention. Collaboration. And a sense that we’re meant to enjoy what we’re doing. Even in the desert of Antarctica, Flat Worms are looking for the upside.