Tagged: review

Distro Spotlight: Puerto Rico Flowers “7”

Puerto Rico Flowers
Fan Death Records

It might have taken John Sharkey III a single and an EP to fully turn his Clockcleaner snarl into the croon of an elder statesman, but it now broods over Puerto Rico Flowers’ drum machine and heavy synths like a dark cloud over a funeral procession.  Yes, the mouth of Philly is back in full force on 7, and we can honestly say it makes Zola Jesus sound like a school girl.
Sharkey explores desolate territory here, but it’s not completely unfamiliar. There’s a menace that drips off the bass and his Rozz Williams-ish tone that you don’t find in other synth-laden goth projects. So much so, that when he demands the subject of “Burning Down the House” be alone when he gets there, you literally feel queasy at the thought of what might happen if she doesn’t get the message.

In fact, the whole album is scattered with this misogynistic theme. On “3 Sisters” Sharkey declares ‘I was your life / You were not mine’ and on “The Pain Comes Slowly” he states ‘I served my time dear, can i leave?’ The hook even bellows ‘She says the pain goes slow.’

Fast forward to “Keep Me Around” and its addressed to yet another female, complete with quips like, “You’re beneath me / so please release me,’ ‘I am the perfect man’ and ‘You’re nothing to me / None of you mean a thing.’ Whaaat?

Listen close and  you’ll find that 7 is pure tongue-in-cheek Babylon Rules hidden under a more isolated and approachable surface.  If Clockcleaner was a play on drunk cretins, PRF is aimed at emotional dudes in hopes they will find themselves unknowingly singing ‘death to women’ choruses in their Hondas. And frankly, that’s why John Sharkey III is still amazing.