DB HOF NO. 101
The making of Floor’s “Floor”
label: No Idea
Floor’s history is fraught with turmoil, disappointment and what could have been. Yet, between three untimely breakups, countless empty-room performances, super-short stints on various record labels and a revolving cast of collaborators, Floor crafted the full-length of full-lengths, the heaviest of heavies, the mountain of mountains. Moored by the stupendous pound of drummer Henry Wilson and the twin “bomb string” assault of guitarists Steve Brooks and Anthony Vialon, Floor’s official self-titled album — 1994’s Dove had been shelved and left for dead, only to be released after Floor — took the collective weight of Melvins, Karp, Godflesh, Swans and Cathedral, and alchemized it into something new. But it wasn’t just the sidewalk shattering bomb string hits or pill-sized songs that made Floor stand out from others in the hellish humidity of south Florida. It was Brooks’ vocals. Rather, it was his power-pop pines to things random and meaningful against Floor’s crushing riffs and thunderous toil. Floor were, in many respects, the architects of a sound familiar yet uncharted.
Recorded in the dead of summer 2001 in a warehouse in Tampa, and released by No Idea a year later, Floor’s entrance to the Hall of Heaviness wasn’t luck. For the better part of seven or eight years, Brooks, Vialon and whoever was available to hit skins—Wilson joined in 1997—tested, retooled and reconfigured their art quiet as mice with elephant legs. Under most circumstances, Floor shouldn’t have existed. It was the product of a never-say-die attitude, of one more chance, with previous unreleased long-players serving as silent inspiration for three musicians aiming to “make it.” And by “make it,” Floor wanted an album of songs, not an olio of EPs, splits and 7-inches. They didn’t want beachfront mansions or three square meals. Floor just wanted a fucking full-length. By absolutely no means were “Scimitar,” “Tales of Lolita,” “Sneech” or “Downed Star” potential radio singles. Floor was foreign. As a result, Floor floundered, unable to find an accepting ear and a supportive fan base. Described as “sludge-pop” by puzzled journos, or “weirdos” by insular scenesters, it was evident the trio didn’t fit the times. In fact, they were light years ahead.
So, it’s with utmost respect—Brooks’ addictive warble and the unmistakable bomb string remain relevant—and relative ease that we take time to introduce the Hall of Fame to Floor. Usually, it’s the other way around.
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