Sunday, October 10, 2010

Feral Children - Brand New Blood (Album Review)

“Texture” is the word that comes to mind to best describe Feral Children’s Brand New Blood album. With a true indie rock approach to their song structures and sonic tones, Feral Children dares you to try and slap a genre label on them. Once the ability to compartmentalize them is out of the question, it frees you up to enjoy what they are creating. While the foundation of their songs include the standard guitar/bass/drums format, there are layers and layers of sounds going on in the background and floating around the lyrics. They even throw in double-tracked vocals and the occasional mid-song tempo change to keep things really interesting. The feeling they create is one of mood, atmosphere and vibe more so than verse, chorus and bridge. Feral Children doesn’t write songs to listen to, they dream up spaces to get lost in.

The instrumental tones on Brand New Blood are quite expansive and diverse. “Kid Origami” softly opens the album with synthesizers and backwards guitar lines and is backed by an agitated swing beat. “Castrato” pulses with a tribal drum pattern and a snaking guitar riff while tinkling piano notes, sliding bass and crashing cymbals are sprinkled throughout. Electric guitar distortion becomes its own melodic instrument on the ebbing “Rivers of Forever” and “Conveyor” rocks along with fast echoing keyboard chords and atonal guitar noises made by plucking the strings above the nut or below the bridge where there is no melodic definition. In keeping with the left turn aesthetic, they even do a folky number in the finger-picked acoustic led “Woodland Mutts.” “Enchanted Parkway” closes out the album with some Stray Cats surf/rockabilly, B-52’s background vocal yelps and a saxophone solo. Fun, frantic and wholly original, it adds an exclamation point to an already unique and entertaining album.

"Woodland Mutts" - Feral Children (Brand New Blood)

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