The Flute Flies' Yes Means Maybe | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

The Flute Flies' Yes Means Maybe 


More than 200 cancers threaten humans. In each case, cell growth goes haywire—skyrocketing, spreading, invading other parts of the body. It is creation as destruction. While the fight against cancer scientifically carries on in labs worldwide, cancer's victims—the patient, their friends and family, anyone who has ever watched someone suffer through it—must deal with the sickness on a daily and pragmatic basis. Sometimes, as the side-project supergroup The Flute Flies demonstrates, it takes a little music to get by.

After losing their friend Cy Rawls to brain cancer in 2008, local band leaders Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds), Reid Johnson (Schooner) and Zeno Gill (The Sames, Pound of Miracles) formed a trio to record a few tracks for The website, a music downloading nonprofit, contributes all of its proceeds to Duke University's Tisch Brain Tumor Center, where Rawls was a patient. After a three-song EP proved rewarding, they expanded their catalog to include the nine additional tracks found on the worthwhile Yes Means Maybe.

Howard, Johnson and Gill trade songwriting and vocal duties with casual confidence, adding their own trademark flare to the tracks they lead. "We Went Alone" harnesses the melancholy pop verve of The Rosebuds, for instance, while "Heavy Minds" offers a retro stroll that would fit comfortably on any Schooner record. Gill and company wrestle the shoegazing grunge of The Sames on "Will There Be Prizes?"

But the effort is best when it forgoes a claim to any singular identity, or when it's as likely to stir up comparisons to its members' other bands as to recall '60s harmonies and early '90s rock gusto. "Pedestrian Illuminaries" pairs a shuffling drive with a call-and-response chorus ("I know you" / "You can't make everything OK"). That inclusive spirit affords necessary levity to a project inspired by sadness. "Singing and drunk, we gave up on those happy endings," Johnson sings on the album's closer. To the contrary, after 35-plus minutes of tambourine slaps, whistles, choppy pianos, show-off solos and throwback harmonies, it's too late to wallow and time to, as the bulk of this welcome little album does, live.

Label: Cy Tunes


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review

Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

This release will be available Friday December 4th here:

Thanks! …

by Scott Phillips on Review: The electronic excellence of GNØER's Tethers Down (Record Review)

You should have let Currin write this. One of the best singers on earth and these were your observations? sounds …

by Remo on Record review: Jeanne Jolly's A Place to Run (Record Review)


© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation