Flowers in Flames of Cleveland serves dark, '80s-style bouquet

EP from French label is on alternative charts
in Europe; tour is set

By Malcolm X Abram
Beacon Journal pop music writer

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Cleveland band Flowers in Flames (From right to left: Jeff Pell, Cynthia Dimitroff, Jeff Dubois and David Chavez have released a new EP "Everything and Nothing."

The sounds of the 1980s are back in vogue in a big way.

Between updated Electro grooves rattling dance floors and climbing up pop charts and mechanized dance-pop that would have fit on to the soundtrack of a John Hughes film, ’80s rhythms have arguably become the most popular sound of young indie rock. Folks just can’t seem to get enough.

The members of Cleveland quartet Flowers in Flames may not actually remember the 1980s, but the four songs on their latest EP, Everything and Nothing — which follows their 2008 self-titled debut — often resembles some long lost recording from famed British post-punk label Factory Records circa 1985.

The band — drummer Jeff Pell; bassist Jeff Dubois; primary singer, songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist Cynthia Dimitroff; and guitarist, singer David Chavez — doesn’t pretend to be reinventing the post-punk wheel and proudly hew closely to the ’80s blueprint of bands such as Joy Division, Bauhaus, early the Cure and Berlin-era Bowie.

Dimitroff, who handles most of the lead vocals, has a deep, vibrato-laden alto that packs enough Goth melodrama to make you check your speakers to see if they are bleeding black eyeliner.

Opening track Chameleon sets the tone with Chavez’s Cure-like glassy reverb and flange-drenched guitar lines over Dubois’ melodic bass lines and Pell’s peppy post-punk groove while Dimitroff bellows like a Midwestern Siouxsie Sioux.

Daylight sports ambient keyboard textures, ethereal guitar arpeggios and tribal drums rolls over which Dimitroff sings of the breaking dawn and getting through the night, drawing out her lines for maximum drama.

The upbeat Without Pity is a pogo-inducing post-punk tune with Chavez sing/speaking about love, while White Chapel slinks along like an early Christian Death tune with Dimitroff exploring the lower end of her already deep voice.

Everything and Nothing is already international as it was released digitally on the Parisian “Post-Punk and Dark Indie” label Zorch Factory Records and distributed by the German-based AFMusic. In Europe, where the post-punk/darkwave sound largely originated, the EP has spent nine weeks on the European alternative charts, peaking at No. 8 and still holding in the top 20.

Flowers in Flames’ music is available at iTunes,,, and and the band plans to gig throughout the summer and record their second full-length album sometime this year.

Check out the band on the Web at:,, and" target="_blank">

Malcolm X Abram can be reached at 330-996-3758 or by email at He’s also on Facebook as Malcolm X Abram. … Go figure.

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