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More Than Just a Fling



    On the Fling's new track, "Dogpile," they sing, "Nothing is permanent," and it's true: Nothing is.

    But: There are certain genres that have longer shelf lives than others. The Fling teeter on the edge of being just another indie rock band, but then there's this dazzling psychedelic folk that they pull off so well that you get the feeling they'll be sticking around for awhile. Their last record, When the Madhouses Appear, has absolute gems tucked between the songs that sort of just pass you by. But, boy, do those gems stick. Like "Friend of Mine" -- a slow-burning, mellowed-out jam that makes you want to dive into a hammock and watch the sun set. Another feel-good '70s AM track, "Wanderingfoot," has this wonderful chorus that elicits involuntary head nods and bodily grooves.  

    The Fling's yet-to-be released EP, What I've Seen, which is out on Dangerbird on Nov 1, shows signs of maturity. It's as if they've really seen and been through it all. Despite that, they're still holding on to that Beach Boys vibe in songs like "You're on My Dreams," while getting into the grit of it with songs like "Bottom Feeders" and the aforementioned "Dogpile." And they're not afraid to dig inside themselves and reveal whatever kind of darkness that exists. In an ironic finale, they finish by singing, "'Cause a good man's hard to find."


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    Overall there's a sense they're the working man's Americana band, a band that drinks PBR and could sleep on any hard surface their bodies could occupy across these United States. The best part is that they're really solid, musically. Their live performances are fluid and polished, and band members Dustin Lovelis (guitars/vocals), Graham Lovelis (bass/vocals), Justin Roeland (drums) and Justin Ivey (guitar, keyboards, vocals) are a cohesive unit. Their Oct. 18 Soda Bar show kicks off a three-month tour, something the band is used to. After touring extensively, they've become sharper -- and definitely better songwriters. At the risk of sounding cheesy, this won't just be a musical "fling"; it's more of a long-term commitment. Yep, I went there. 


    Joining them at Soda Bar will be David Vandervelde, who also possesses garage-rock grit. He recently covered some of his favorite artists' songs for Aquarium Drunkard, one of which was Jay Bennett's "Cruel to Be Honest." Bennett was a member of Wilco who passed away in 2009, and Vandervelde's third LP, Big Lies, serves as a tribute to him. Although the pain of losing a mentor -- and growing as an artist in general -- might have worn on him, he's still got that rebellious spirit, singing about getting into trouble and "evil girls." He's got a way of still staying sly and a little wild. You can check them both out at Soda Bar on Oct 18. Get your tickets here


    Nada Alic runs the San Diego-based music blog Friends With Both Arms.Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.