[by Tish Remmly | Oct 6th, 2021]
The fabled rock legend and Crapstacks frontman whose murder trial gripped the nation for nearly two years has returned with a charmingly defiant and morally corrupt rock album on the beloved Fresno Records. Despite harsh criticism aimed towards the multimedia giant Fresno for signing Flip, the label has never let the vitriol get in the way of art. In March of 2020, Jesper Monaghan, Fresno CEO, said of the backlash: “I couldn’t care less about the public’s thoughts on our acquisition of Flip and his music. The math is simple: Flip makes music I respect and, above all else, sells on controversy alone. Selling Flip’s music is like selling water or air. Everybody needs it, and nobody has enough. We couldn’t be happier with Flip’s recent recordings and are beyond excited to share it with the consumer.”
Though Jesper seems perfectly content with Flip’s controversial presence, it will be a markedly harder sell on the general public. Many fans are enraged at both Flip for his arrogance towards his heavily publicized mistrial and Fresno for signing a figure as difficult to swallow as Flip. This uneasiness is to be expected: when Flip Fitch murdered a concertgoer on May 26th, 2019, the effects reverberated throughout the music scene just as ferociously as one of his songs. The response was dark, angry, and intense. Flip’s controversial stage persona was proven to be more than bravado and his violent lyrics wholly sincere. Flip was in prison for almost two years awaiting trial and, through a series of loopholes, sketchy legal maneuvers, and many courthouse transgressions, the court ruled a mistrial.
Returning back to public life, Flip was shunned almost everywhere he went. He was seen as an evil man who will never have to pay for his crimes. Due to this “public rejection” as he calls it, Flip sunk into a deep depression. Working behind the scenes on directorial efforts, refraining from public performances, and, above all else, writing his comeback album. With the rest of Crapstacks in prison for accessory to murder, Flip had to assemble a new band. An air pilot by the name of Flora McFauna was quickly assigned to bass guitar due to her funky riffs in her band “Flora McFauna’s House of Funk.” Two of her three bandmates from the aforementioned band, Anton Zeck and Ivan Steranko, were also assigned to drums and backup guitar, respectively. Flip took the forefront as lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter.
The songs are more personal, introspective, and specific than previous Crapstacks works. On the 2021 release “Flip Fitch,” Flip addresses his public transgressions, his foes, his anger, his depression, and everything in between. It’s an album uniquely Flip, and his backing band assists him in creating more straightforward and catchy tunes than the previous harsh noise rock of Crapstacks’ pre-trial releases. Flora’s bass guitar is the center focus on the alternative/post-punk I’m On a Roll, and Flip’s noisy and experimental side-band We Are Not Musicians joins him on the track “Best I Could.” Additionally, the notorious “singing robot” Tortello joins him on the 10-minute epic “Oh No, Did I Kil a Guy?”
Of the album, Flip had to say: “I started this album the second I got home from the courthouse. Every time an asshole at the Subway didn’t let me inside, I wrote another song. Eventually I had nine songs.”
Prior to the album’s release, Flip made waves in the film industry with his intense one-shot experimental film Flip Fitch: Smoke and Mirrors. Initially planned to be a behind the scenes featurette on the making of a music video Flip was directing, the shoot quickly got out of control as Flip’s irritability and erratic behavior enraged everyone on his crew and put the safety of his lead at risk. The album was screened at Cannes, where it won no awards and received the least amount of votes for the “Best of the Fest” award, effectively making it the worst received film in Cannes history.
Both during and after his release from prison, Flip additionally directed multiple Soundass live concert films, a television program Christian Values, an upcoming Philly cheesesteak-related documentary Tryin’ Phillies, as well as curating a wealth of content for the ever-popular and much-maligned OGUS. He additionally appeared as a presenter in the First Annual Ogies Celebration, did multiple press interviews including this one on YouTube gaming channel Geekspace, and produced many records for his side project We Are Not Musicians, in which he contributes multiple instruments. Though the name Flip Fitch is synonymous with his noise rock project Crapstacks and his incomparable murder trial, Flip Fitch has proven himself an innovative and versatile figure in the arts. In addition to these multimedia experiments, Flip began slowly unleashing the new album to fans, first with the release of lead single “I’m On a Roll” which would chart at 34 on the Billboard rock charts, and b-side “Out of Demand” which failed to chart.
The album is both a mature and immature album from Flip–it is his soul on display, hence his name featured exclusively as the album title. To some, it will be meaningless garbage, to others meaningful garbage. Regardless, it is a raw and unfiltered insight into one of the most morally bankrupt artists in the history of recorded music. From post-punk to noise rock to alternative metal to butt rock and so on, the album is a treat for any music lovers looking for something new under their Christmas tree. If you are a rock fan, a Flip fan, or just a fan of murder, then this album will delight you, scare you, and, most importantly, rock you. It is available to stream on Bandcamp as of October 6th, 2021, though the album will be available on streaming services within the month.