Almost a decade after they started, maybe it's appropriate to discuss the influence ARCTIC FLOWERS had on West Coast punk throughout the '10s. Whisper In Darkness had dropped a couple of SPECTRES 45s before this 2009 demo was released (and one of the first AF releases was a split with SPECTRES, so the scene comparison can't be completely off...), but I feel like early ARCTIC FLOWERS recordings and especially their live shows blazed a trail for minions of goth influenced dark punk bands. And the difference is/was the punk aspect of those bands - it certainly isn't/wasn't new for crusters to toy with brooding new wave or to celebrate Eldritch and JOY DIVISION, but ARCTIC FLOWERS live performances built a bridge (or tunnel?) and countless DIY bands flooded in throughout the aughts. Shamelessly honoring the past by injecting new life, it's as if the '80s are just lurking menacingly in the crevices of their debut; songs like "Technicolor Haze" that would go on to be re-recorded and remixed many times over subsequent years present themselves here as a foundation, especially in retrospect, for a huge wave of punk bonded by an approach more than any specific sound. Maybe it was really just time and place and maybe this all happened organically and these punks just happened to be there...or maybe ARCTIC FLOWERS just let everyone know it was OK.