Saturday 24 May 2014

Choice Cuts : Floor (S/T)

The Band :

Anthony Vialon | Guitars
Steve Brooks | Vocals, Buitars
Henry Wilson | Drums, Bass

Inspirational records don't come along very often. The Stooges "Funhouse" was one when I first heard it around the late '80s, "Nowhere" by Ride around 1990 was another and "Bullhead" by the Melvins changed things again about a year later. I didn't play guitar when I first heard those records, but I did by the time I heard Floor's self titled album.

I remember reading that when musicians saw the Sex Pistols they quit their bands and found punk, and for me hearing Floor was a similar experience. I quit the crust-stoner band I was in, tuned down and started on my endless quest for the ultimate combination of riff and tone. It's impossible to talk about Floor in other terms, as the record is absolutely bursting at the seams with both. When that opening low throb of "Scimitar" kicks in there is no way to avoid the crushing power of that riff. Every cliché for reviewing how heavy music sounds (glacial, tectonic, seismic, engulfing, etc etc) began with this riff. I immediately knew that less is more, that regular musical theory is obsolete and that "chops" mean nothing.

If Floor had just played that opening riff for the duration of the record it would still be one of the most magical records ever recorded, but of course they were/are way better than that. Every song is just loaded with riffs that other bands would kill for, only Floor would throw three of them into a two minute song. There was no indulgence at all, no filler, no need to repeat anything to fill space. This album is a template for how to use dynamics in heavy music, but what sets it apart from every other ‘tuned to z’ band is the melody.

Although I’ve grown up with Black Sabbath and all the rest, I’ve always loved melody in a song. The cookie-monster death grunt thing never appealed to me, and I’d been listening to bands like the Pixies a lot more than any heavy music for years. Suddenly here was a band with the heaviest riffs ever, but welded together with unbelievable melody and heart-wrenching vocals. One listen to “Tales of Lolita” was enough to completely change how I wanted to play music forever, and I suppose I’ve spent the last ten years with Slomatics trying vainly to even get close to what Floor did so effortlessly on this record. Add to all this, the fact that the band were almost completely unknown, that every live picture I could find of them was playing to a half-empty tiny pub, and that they’d never even been out of the States and I was hooked.

What a legacy to leave for the then-defunct band. I’ve a friend who has a theory that in every city there is a band somewhere, whether in a practice room or playing one of those half-empty tiny pubs, which would absolutely blow your mind. Floor were that band for me, and although they are now deservedly much more well known, at the time the very fact that they had existed and had written that beautiful record was enough inspiration for me to do what I’ve been doing since, and will never stop doing.  

Words & Recommendation : David Majury from Slomatics

‘Floor’ was the debut full length from the band released by No Idea Records in 2002, although recorded before this record ‘Dove’ was their second official full length.

‘Floor’ track listing :

1). Scimiter 02:28
2). Return to Zero 02:20
3). Downed Star 02:45
4). Iron Girl 02:18
5). Night full of Knicks 03:32
6). Twink 00:53
7). Sheech 01:02
8). Assassin 01:33
9). Kallisti-Song For Eris 03:08
10). Ein (Below and Beyond) 03:24
11). Figured Out 03:19
12). Tales of Lolita 02:02
13). Triangle Song 03:28


Released on CD and vinyl.

Released on grey marble vinyl, limited to 550 copies.
2nd pressing on October 31st, 2002 on clear vinyl, limited to 550 copies.
3rd pressing on February 28th, 2005 on dark red vinyl, limited to 550 copies.
4th pressing on February 28th, 2007. 316 copies on grey vinyl, 179 copies on cloudy black vinyl, 9 copies on light grey vinyl, 6 copies on purple vinyl.

Re-released on tape in 2010 by Amnesian Records, limited to 200 copies.

Re-released on 12" vinyl with a bonus 7" vinyl in 2014 by Robotic Empire, limited to 2000 copies.
Bonus 7" vinyl:
1. Bombs to Abbadon (2:20)
2. Xian (The Jingle-Jangle of a Thousand Lost Souls) (1:07)
3. Stalker (5:29)

- 500 copies of the deluxe "Hall of Fame" edition on silver/blue vinyl, comes with a sticker, patch and large interview booklet, 7" black vinyl
- 900 copies on black vinyl with 7" black vinyl
- 300 copies on blue vinyl with 7" blue vinyl
- 300 copies on clear vinyl with 7" clear vinyl

Source: Metal Archives