He’s a little bit Foo Fighters, a little bit Springsteen.
At least, that’s what the buzz is on Josh Flagg, the Philadelphia native, who plays the Grape Room Thursday, with his band The Obligations. Flagg, who now calls New York City home, has a new album, “Devastate Me,” to support.
The singer-songwriter, who began playing mandolin before he was out of grade school and performing his first shows by 13, writes taut, meticulously crafted power pop. The new album is the perfect balance of sweet and sour, a fitting showcase for his ragged vocals, and the bright soaring harmonies that sweep across the songs’ slashing guitars.
But there’s no room for bloating in such muscular rock.
“One thing I really respect in a band is keep the solos either nonexistent or very short,” Flagg says. “I don’t want to hear the singer give a speech. I’m not looking for a 2.5-hour show. I want a band that … can kill it for 35 minutes. That’s our mind frame; take no prisoners and don’t let it get old.”
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