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Flaunt has real musical talent but their frantic range of styles distracts from their sound

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Listening to new songs from the band Flaunt, you’ll notice some distinct characteristics right off the bat.

They’re talented musicians, but their style is a bit all over the map. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but you’re not going to find a similar feel to any of their tracks. The song “Sideshow” has a distinctive hip hop/pop feel to it while the song “Jungle” has an alt-rock feel to it. The song “I Haven’t Thought About You Yet” has a arty pop-rock feel.

Another issue I had is that they at times seem to try too hard to appear cutting-edge or cool. This is especially apparent in their yet-to-be-released video for the song “Restraint.” Watching it reminded me of what it’s like when you’re looking at a painting made by someone who thinks it’s this complex masterpiece with thousands of different meanings when all it really is is a piece of cloth with some X’s and O’s colored all over it. A hyperbolic comparison, perhaps, but you get the idea.

flaunt RAVE NOIR Cover ArtNow, “Restraint” has more going for it than that, and there’s bits of it I did legitimately enjoy. Overall, though, I found it more annoying than I did entertaining. For instance, around 2:41, the singer changes keys and it shifts the tone of the song in a way that makes it feel too herky jerky. The taps and bells toward the beginning, too, didn’t feel like they needed to be there. I did like the contour dancer toward the start of the video — his movements flow nicely with the sound and grab your attention. I liked the guitar riff and the singer’s tone, too, though I wish there was a bit more of it.

Of all their songs, “Sideshow” is probably the best. It’s a simple arrangement behind the clean lead vocals. It feels like a solid bit of pop music. The beat complements the melody well and it captures one musical idea in an efficient way. I’d probably listen to it more than a few times if it came up on my Pandora station.

Overall, the biggest issue with Flaunt I can see is that they don’t have one identifiable quality.

If you look at any big act that’s gone onto achieve crazy success, they do it because they have one or two elements to their sound that millions of people love. For Adele, it’s her incredible voice and her personal lyrics. For Madonna, it’s her ability to reinvent herself time and again while keeping the same quality of sound within the pop structure. For Eminem, it’s his insane rapping ability and his uncensored attitude.

Think of it this way. If I were trying to explain to my friend what Flaunt sounds like, I’m not sure where I’d start. They’re kind of poppy, but not quite. They’re sorta hip hop, but not really. They’ve got some rock riffs in some of their songs too.

If they can dig in and settle more on a sound, which to be clear doesn’t mean giving up their willingness to experiment and try new things, I think they’ll be much more able to reach a wider audience. Their new album “Rave Noir” comes out on March 18.

For more on Flaunt, check them out on Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter.

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