Sunday 15 January 2023

Flash Forward - Endings = Beginnings

Labels: Uncle M Music

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 09 Dec 2022


1. Paradise

2. Young Blood (feat: Between You & Me)

3. Bloodshot Eyes

4. Endings

5. Drowning Underwater (feat: We Were Sharks & Breathe Atlantis)

6. Over You (feat: As December Falls)

7. Out Of Love

8. Cotton Candy Clouds

9. Criminals

10. Saviour

11. Beginnings

12. Heartclash

13. No Use

Germany isn't a country you think of when pop-punk springs to mind. This was the most recent Haulix+ promo to drop into my inbox and the first time I'd heard of Flash Forward. Endings = Beginnings was released via German label Uncle M Music in December of last year. I don't know a lot about the band but this is the latest release to follow their 2018 Uncle M Live Session and their 2017 full-length Revolt before that.

Flash Forward combine synths with pop-punk according to the promo write-up. I think this may be a bit outside of my wheelhouse but we’ll see. On hitting play on album opener ‘Paradise’, I stand by my earlier comment as this sounds a lot cleaner than I’m used to. ‘Young Blood’ features Australian pop-punk band Between You & Me, another new name to me. Normally bands feature an individual but not here. Again, it’s a lot more pop than pop-punk but it’s a little more hard-hitting this time, thanks to the punchier guitars and percussion. 

I can see the appeal with Flash Forward, especially If you’re not quite ready to make the jump to something heavier and ‘Bloodshot Eyes’ has that Franz Ferdinand/recent-era Fall Out Boy vibe going on, which isn’t bad at all. It’s just a little safe if I’m being honest. ‘Endings’ is the first (half) title track and it’s an instrumental one, including programmed beats. ’Drowning Underwater’ feature contributions from Canadian pop-punk band We Were Sharks and German metalcore band Breathe Atlantis, and I think I’m slowly starting to understand what Flash Forward are trying to achieve.

The hooks that make up ‘Over You’ are pretty infectious, albeit subtle and the addition of UK alternative band As December Falls is a nice touch, though they could be a bit more prominent in the mix maybe. From here on out, it’s all about Flash Forward. ‘Out Of Love’ is another sing-along anthem that conjures up bands like You Me At Six and Biffy Clyro (maybe?). It’s certainly a feel-good song. When their sound is punchier, like in the opening bars of ‘Cotton Candy Clouds’, there’s a lot to admire. The rest of the song is catchy and very enjoyable too, but it misses that crunch that comes from a grittier approach. Again, I’m being a bit overly critical as this album may end up being a grower when ‘Criminals’ kicks in, with it’s soothing melodic tones. 

’Saviour’ is another song filled with electronic textures that actually overule Flash Forward’s attempts at post-hardcore/punk. I guess that’s the crux of this release for me. It’s very listenable and I can see it’s appeal for sure, but as the second (half) title track ‘Beginnings’ come and goes, it reminds me that I’m starting to feel my age a bit now. Just as I say that though ‘Heartclash’ does it’s bit to prove that there is some pop-punk residing in Flash Forward’s repertoire. It’s subtle but it’s there in parts. Thirteenth and final song ‘No Use’ owes itself once again to You Me At Six. As comparisons go, that may be a lazy one but I stand by it as a guide for those who haven’t heard Flash Forward before.

The tags used to describe Flash Forward’s sound on Uncle M’s Bandcamp page include post-hardcore and skate punk, but there’s not really a great deal of either coming through on the record. I think I need to give it more time and space to sink in. As I said at the top of this review, it’s not really my wheelhouse, but I feel that it’s due wider praise elsewhere. 

You can stream and purchase the album digitally via Uncle M's Bandcamp page below:-

Vinyl copies and other merch can be ordered here -

Flash Forward -

Uncle M Music -

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