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Bradford’s finest indie-pop eccentrics FLING continue to delight fans with their intelligent post-modern approach to popular music. When listening to their playful new single ‘Just A Dog’, it is immediately clear that FLING are not afraid to reach back into the history of pop music and borrow from earlier musical styles.

‘Just A Dog’ at once evokes early Brit-pop kings Blur and Supergrass with its unabashedly infectious indie vibes. Initial Starman-like acoustic strumming in the opening verse is quickly overcome by irresistible whistles and ‘hey’s’ and numerous other joyful hooks that demonstrate the band’s well-honed pop sensibility. In fact, the dry drum beat and the mercilessly catchy chorus whistling calls to mind Peter Bjorn and John’s noughties banger Young Folks (circa FIFA 08).

When FLING’s enigmatic frontman Charles gently yelps “I’m just a dog… just don’t put me down”, he knowingly provides a whimsical indie-pop equivalent to the Stooges’ rock anthem ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. Aside from some pleasingly Bowie-esque flourishes, Charles’ vocal sounds very contemporary – conforming to the common Radio 1 friendly indie-rock style (à la Catfish and the Bottlemen). The song maintains its kooky energy with contagious melodies and some clever instrumentation, as wobbly M83-like synth melodies emerge and immediately take the listener away from Bowie and Blur and back into 21stcentury.

In their amusing and absurdist music video for ‘Just A Dog’, FLING’s carefree willingness to borrow judiciously from different eras is most obvious. As the outlandishly dressed band dances on the head of a puppy, their androdynous and theatrical stage personas are paraded in full glory – melding various aspects of Bowie, Marc Bolan and Ray Davies (complete with Kinks neckties, gaudy trousers and glitzy glasses) into a unique musical identity. FLING clearly illustrate how it is possible to celebrate the music of the past whilst creating new music that is popular, exciting and bloody good fun.

Words by Vince Lisle

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