Flight 16

Flight 16

Flight 16

Sony/550

Flight 16’s roots sink deeply into a style of rock that was raging out of control long before the word “punk” was first uttered; when progressive rock bands like Jethro Tull inspired unbridled Bic flicking in stadiums and arenas around the world. This British quartet’s self-titled debut is the rare aggressive-rock record that avoids sounding anything like Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains — a remarkable feat in itself! Guitarist Paul Obertelli plays in the style of early Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton while his bandmates display a stylistic fluidity that weaves a subtle, sonic magnificence in and around the framework of Obertelli’s aggression. The rough harmonies and strings on “My Only Love” work well to harness the emotional restraint of — bear with me on this one — the Bee Gees “I Started a Joke” or the Stones “As Tears Go By.”

Flight 16 may appear to have come from nowhere, with no comfortable niche to settle into. Truth is, they get all their innovative freshness from a decidedly ’70s slant. Their closest modern competitor might be Life of Agony, and that is company no band should be ashamed to be keep. Selected stops to watch for on your itinerary include the ethereal, Zeppelin-esque ballad “This Love,” the powerful single “If All the World Hated Me,” and the Sabbath-style dirge metal of “Poison Apple.”

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