Words by Amber Clark
Gritty, caustic garage rock; it’s what The Fatal Flaws do best. This husband-and-wife duo of Sasha Rodriquez and Chris Beneke has been kicking around Burlington since they formed in August of 2008. The Flaws were born out of a classified ad in which Chris was searching for a fellow guitarist. Through the ad, Chris found fellow guitarist Jason, but the group was still in need of a drummer. After some persuasion, Sasha, despite never having previously played, stepped up to fill in the role. After a few years the trio became the present duo when Jason moved away from Burlington. Despite the lost member Beneke and Rodriguez kept going.
One of the most defining characteristics of the duo is that they are both completely self-taught. Beneke, who tackles vocals and guitar, learned how to play the guitar by himself years ago while Rodriguez, the percussionist, picked up drumming, and occasionally the maracas, when the band began and she has been fine-tuning her skills throughout their growth.
The duo has mixed answers about their influences. While Beneke favors Bo Diddly and The Scientists, Rodriguez listed specific drummers such as Steven Fish and Meg White from The White Stripes. Rodriguez claimed White as an influence because while her drumming ability may be limited, “She’s in a kick-ass band.”
The Fatal Flaws have funneled their individual sound into two self-recorded records, the first being ‘Your First Mistake’ which dropped in early 2006. Their debut album consisted of four tracks all recorded in one day in their apartment. The duo admitted their first release was a bit hectic and abrupt due to its single day conception. Their sophomore effort ‘Scragged’ followed up in August of 2008. The 23-track album was recorded over the course of three to four days, allowing for a more polished final product that lost none of the bands acidic sound or lyrics.
Beneke and Rodriguez broke into the Burlington music scene playing their first show at local favorite Radio Bean in December of 2006. The duo joked that they knew how to clear out a house in under five seconds. Admittedly, plugging in your amp and throwing down some riffs at 5PM in a coffee house can have that effect. Despite their rather rough start, Rodriguez said the Radio Bean’s owner, “never seemed reluctant to give us a slot.” The Fatal Flaws soon moved in to become regulars who performed the first Saturday of every month from 8–10. The duo said one of their favorite parts of these shows is when individuals who are removed from the music scene in Burlington stumble upon and decide to pick up a CD after the show. Unexpected new fans are always a welcome so hit up the Radio Bean next time Beneke and Rodriguez take the stage.
(Sasha and Chris each host shows on WOMM-LP 105.9FM ‘The Radiator’)