A-side: The Heat Is On
So, who were Flower Drum? Well the guitarist's brother was in EMF and I went to school with the lead singer, Paul Tippins. Although, to be honest, I don't ever recall having a conversation with him during those years - so don't expect any deeper insights into this record than usual. There's no video on Youtube, and when you search For Flower Drum on the internet, what you basically get is a load of hots for the musical Flower Drum Song. I'll forgive most of you for never having heard of this one. It was independantly released on their own label to limited edition of 1000
On with the Music - my personal feeling is that they shot themselves in the foot calling this The Heat Is On. The mid-80's AOR monster of the same by Glenn Frey is just so imprinted in people's heads that even when trying to recall this song all I get is the other song. It's a shame that this is forgettable, because it's not bad at what it does, which is fairly standard early 90's indie dance fare. It throws in all the hip cliches of the genre: soundbites from films, breathy female oohs, funky wah-wah guitar the whole lot. Obviously more interested in making people dance than listen the song feels like it's mainly built up of chorus with only occasional bits of verse managing to get in.
On flipping the record over I would have been surprised if it wasn't more of the same contained therein. I wasn't surprised. This Love Is Real is slightly more memorable, possibly because the title isn't fighting a losing battle with another hit. It's got all the same ingredients down to the film samples and wah-wahs. In it's favour it has a slightly darker and more aggressive sound than the A-side. If they wanted to have been noticed above the many hundreds of similar acts at this time they should probably have gone with this track to lead off.
There we go then, something that's okay, but ultimately sinks because it is largely unmemorable.
Next time something from the periphery of Grunge