The Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us that no one is completely sure where the word flummox comes from, though its first known use was in Charles Dickens’ debut novel, The Pickwick Papers, published in 1837. It means “to confuse”, and among its synonyms are “baffle”, “perplex”, “bewilder”, “bemuse”, and “mystify”. And when you understand all that, it’s not confusing at all why this Tennessee band chose Flummox as their name — because flummoxing listeners seems to be their primary mission.
The band’s most recent release is a four-song demo that emerged in June under the name Garage Prog, and the second song on that demo, “Tom Walker Blues“, has become the basis for the band’s first music video (directed by Matt Rose), which we are about to present for the first time to a completely unprepared public audience.
The band are now operating as a quartet, with each member embracing a particular persona — a Witch (bass and lead vocals), a Wizard (guitars, vocals, keys), an Alien (drums), and a Squonk (guitars, vocals). An no, I don’t know what a Squonk is, but by process of elimination you can figure out who it is when you expose yourself to the video (and sure, feel free to expose yourself while you watch, I get the impression the band would probably enjoy that).
There is one more character in the video, the man of wealth and taste whose name you’ll guess though you may not guess the nature of his game (the horned one is played by the band’s friend Zach Ferrin, of the band Fable Cry). As the song reminds us, there’s always the risk that if you sell your soul to the devil, you may get ripped off in the end.
Consistent with their flummoxing mission (and their previous releases), the band throw genre conventions into the wind (along with heavy metal clothing conventions). “Tom Walker Blues” rocks and skronks, it batters and bubbles, it screams and shrieks, it spirals off into flights of instrumental fancy and drops into a gloomy, ominous crawl. In a word, it’s exuberantly unhinged… but not quite batshit enough to disguise the instrumental skill of the performers, which is impressive.
And with that introduction, we leave you to the intergalactic premiere of the video for “Tom Walker Blues”, and we hope you have fun with it. We sure did. You’ll find Garage Prog on Bandcamp.