Flickerstick – Welcoming Home The Astronauts (2001)


Flickerstick was an American, Denton, Texas-based indie rock band, formed by high school friends Brandin Lea (lead singer, guitarist) and Cory Kreig (guitarist, keyboardist). The two, who were guitarists in another local band, decided to put a band together and picked some friends to join them, including Brandin’s brother, Fletcher (bassist). The band started doing local gigs.
They played clubs in Dallas, adding Dallas-based drummer Dominic Weir, and started playing show The band borrowed $10,000 and made their first album titled Welcoming Home the Astronauts. The album sold in the Dallas area and at shows, and the band received local airplay. It was then that Billboard picked the band to be on a CD sampler of Best Unsigned Bands in the Country.
Signed to Epic records in the wake of their triumph on VH1’s Bands on the Run series, Flickerstick‘s debut album, Welcoming Home the Astronauts, is a ready-for-prime-time record. However, the band’s strengths and weaknesses are apparent. Lead singer Brandin Lea exhibits an appealing lyrical persona, that of an anxious young small-time guy navigating uncertainly through the dating scene. He tries wearing his heart on his sleeve, but when that doesn’t work, he finds himself suggesting “Chloroform the One You Love.” He longs to escape, but doesn’t want to sell his record collection. (We’ve all been there, haven’t we?) And when he talks about his ambitions, his girlfriend puts him down: “You’re So Hollywood.” The music that supports these reflections sometimes soars, especially when Cory Kreig breaks out the E-Bow and makes like Big Country (“Beautiful”), but it is often earthbound due to the deliberate tempos and frequently plodding rhythm section. The sequencing buries some of the better and faster tunes near the end, which makes the record take a while to get going. But there’s a terrific little rock & roll band in the making here, and even if that band occasionally turns indulgent, their flaws are fixable and their frontman is on to something.


1.  “Lift (With Love We Will Survive)”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea, Fletcher Lea, Dominic Weir)  – 6:33
2.  “Got a Feeling”  (Rex Ewing, Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 3:54
3.  “Beautiful”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 4:10
4.  “Smile”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 3:04
5.  “Coke”   (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 4:48
6.  “Sorry…Wrong Trajectory”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 4:35
7.  “Chloroform the One You Love”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 3:56
8.  “You’re So Hollywood”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 3:48
9.  “Talk Show Host”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 3:22
10.  “Hey or When the Drugs Wear Off”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 3:49
11.  “Direct Line to the Telepathic”  (Cory Kreig, Brandin Lea)  – 9:34
12.  “Execution by Christmas Lights  – 6:16   (hidden track; on the Epic release)

Brandin Lea (vocals, guitar)
Cory Kreig (guitar, piano, keyboards, background vocals)
Rex James Ewing (guitar, background vocals)
Fletcher Lea (bass, background vocals)
Dominic Weir (drums, background vocals)

Cory Kreig (vocals, guitar, E-bow, piano, keyboards)
Toby Pipes (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Jeff Whittington, Rex Ewing, Brandin Lea (vocals, guitar)
Todd Pipes (vocals, keyboards)
James Baldwin (vocals)
Dominic Weir (drums)
Jennifer Baldwin, Genevieve Tromiczak, Mick Flair, Jenny Epsing-Kirtland (background vocals)
Dave McNair (guitar)

Producers: Todd Pipes, Toby Pipes, Rick Beato
Engineers include: Todd Pipes, Howard Worthen, Rick Beato
Audio Mixers: Rick Beato; Tom Lord-Alge

Release Date: June 19, 2001
Recording Date: April, 2000Propulsion Laboratories, Dallas, TX (04/2000-08/2001); The Zone, Atlanta, GA (04/2000-08/2001); Tree Studios
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Label – 226 Records

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