Something of a supergroup in the West Coast garage punk community, Flat Worms are a clever, cheerfully abrasive trio who confirm you don't have to be an angry teenager to play great punk rock. Dealing in choppy guitar figures bathed in feedback and distortion, paired with strong, throbbing rhythms, Flat Worms have mastered the art of sounding serious on the surface while clearly enjoying their lo-fi chaos, and their 2017 self-titled album and the 2019 EP Into the Iris are commendable unions of punky troublemaking and indie rock smarts.
Flat Worms were founded by singer and guitarist Will Ivy, previously a member of Bridez, Wet Illustrated, and Dream Boys. Ivy was working on his debut solo album, 2016's Scrap Plastic, when he found himself listening to some old Swell Maps records and was inspired to make some noisy and frantic rock & roll. Ivy recruited two friends to help him work out some tunes: bassist Tim Hellman, whose resumé includes stints playing with Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and Sic Alps; and drummer Justin Sullivan, who has kept time for the Babies and Kevin Morby. Dubbing the trio Flat Worms, Ivy wasted no time taking Hellman and Sullivan into the studio, and their debut release, a three-song 7" titled Red Hot Sand, appeared in April 2016.
In early 2017, the members of Flat Worms were able to find time in their schedules to play some live dates, and they began work on a full-length album. In October 2017, Flat Worms released a self-titled debut album on Castle Face Records, followed by touring in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. In February 2019, Flat Worms were back in action with Into the Iris, a six-song EP recorded by Ty Segall that found the band tighter and more precise than ever without sapping their energy. ~ Mark Deming