Top Sounds - F

FANG/ NO IDEA - Split {Just4Fun/ Wounded} PODCAST PLAYED Raging four-track 7” kicking off with the Landshark legend that is FANG. First track is a blazing cover of ‘Riot In Cell Block #9’ (which, apparently, Shakin’ Stevens also covered!) that oddly, sounds remarkably like some RED FLAG 77 stuff! Superb!! ‘Deathryder’ doesn’t cut quite so intensely, but is more in tune with FANG of old - slightly warped but with some stunning drumming. And vocalist Sam McBride (post prison sentence) still sounds noxious and intimidating. Flip the wax and you get Sweden’s very own legends, NO IDEA. They crank out ‘Container HardCore’ which sounds a bit more restrained than their usual HC rage and is a bit of a winner. ‘Logic Of War’ closes the EP with some great discordant guitar work, bellicose vocal and bruising beats and is the pick of the two NO IDEA tracks. Hugely enjoyable split 7” featuring a couple of bands that can genuinely be considered veterans - and can still cut it with any of the up and coming whippersnappers. NO IDEA just pip FANG - but FANG get best track. (25.01.21)  
FATHERFIGURES - Any Time Now... And High Time Too {DIY} PODCAST PLAYED Oh - this got me rather excited! Following the demise of the excellent Leeds, UK duo FLIES ON YOU due to the passing of Andy Watkins, remaining member Doug Aikman formed this new band - and whatcha know? It’s jolly good!! You get 14-tracks that kick off with the pulsing, clawing ‘Marilyn’ that fuses JOY DIVISION with SIOUXSIE yet sounds fresh, vital, now. From there, every track captivates yet doesn’t follow a set path: ‘Jesus’ is a bit like a dub-version of CHUMBAWAMBA, the Punk bite of ‘Brush, ‘Bosch’ steals the vibe of ‘California Uber Alles’ and strips it down to a claustrophobic, sinister crawl and ‘Deadly Serious’ has an early XTC vibe while disc highlight, ‘A Mere Transaction’ comes on like PSYCHEDELIC FURS playing BAUHAUS. It’s great to hear the distinctly Yorkshire-accented vocals of Doug’s, something that made FLIES ON YOU so unique and addictive. I’ve mentioned a lot of ‘soundalikes’ here, all of which are valid, but ultimately this is a wonderfully original and diverse sound that takes the very best of Post-Punk, Punk Rock and splashes of Goth, Power Pop and Industrial to create an absorbing, thrilling rather special album. (05.12.22)
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS - The Half Life Of Teaspoons {TNS} Debut 10-track album from this four-piece outta Manchester, England  that features ex-members of RISING STRIKE. Opener ‘Maggots’ is an awesome start with its bubbling lead riff before the band drops in with weight and a raging female vocal. From there it’s a blitzkrieg smorgasbord of bilious Hardcore, crazed time signatures, grizzled riffs, damaging beats and a quirky post-Punk vibe that had me thinking early CHUMBAWAMBA (see ‘Fake Fake Fur’ which could claim to be the album’s best). Other goodies include ‘No More Than Numbers’ that opens with another excellent understated riff before exploding into some deranged Hardcore and ‘Out Of Order’ that fuses those enraged female vocals of Katz with a male vocal that had a bit of Vic Bondi about it. Lyrically this is out spoken political stuff taking on capitalism, animal rights and more from an almost philosophical perspective. Not something I’d listen to every day, but it sure rips, snarls and impresses when the mood for dissonant, experimental and Hardcore hits. (27.06.21)
FOX FACE - End Of Man {Dirtnap} Second album from this Milwaukee quartet and it’s quite the cracker. It could be a bit more focused, but no less abrasive than the debut, ‘Spoil + Destroy’ and that BIKINI KILL vibe has been replaced by a most apparent LUNACHICKS vibe (check ‘Fan The Flames’ in particular). There seems to be more of a groove about this album too, something a little sassier I think. Plenty of highlights among the 12 tracks including ‘SWF’ that snarls and seduces like LYDIA LUNCH, the swaggering title track and the relentless ‘Haunt You’ but it’s ‘Slow Burn’ that’s the best track with its punchy bass lead, and Poison Ivy-esque guitar lead combining to create something like a Garage version of MUFFS. All very strong stuff indeed, heard traces of DEAD KENNEDYS about some of the guitar lines too. Lyrical, as with the debut, this is out-spoken and direct - and all the better for it - opener ‘Vessels’ (and one of the best tracks also) - sets the tone righteously! Not typically Dirtnap sounding, but one that’s smoking! (16.08.21)

FROGGY AND THE RINGES - Soft G {Kibou} Lurching from the mysterious backwaters (one assumes) of Suffolk, UK come this quartet that has taken THE SONICS ‘Boom’ cover and added a frog’s face to it. I assume this has something to do with James outta DOMESTICS being on Kibou - and it surely sounds like his bellowing vocal. This time though, it’s not the Hardcore we’ve come to expect, this time it’s more New Wave Of The Close Shave sound fused with something a bit more Garage Rock and odd splashes of FUZZTONES-esque keyboards. Four tracks on this limited 7” with the lead track having a distinctly aggro sound, as does closer ‘(We Are) Cheap Beer’ while ‘Don’t Listen’ has enough quirk about it to be comparable to THE CRAVATS. They certainly have their collective tongue embedded in their cheek and I’m guessing this might be a one-off project but, I have to say, I really enjoyed it!!  One thing is for sure: listening to the final track, they are not from Belgium. (06.03.21)

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