ARTIST: Flesh Eating Foundation
After putting out a slew of uneven but promising EPs over the past few years, England's Flesh Eating Foundation have finally released their full-length debut, a well-crafted but low-fi barrage of tortured dance rhythms, jagged guitars and industrial clatter. Like fellow UK act Concept 7, this trio draws as much on punk and techno influences as classic industrial, and it shows in the frantic synthesizer loops of "Fight!" and the bouncing breakbeats of "The Dead," both of which sound like a violent anarchist group invading a rave. The band's approach to vocals also draws on punk influences; while robotic vocoder effects make the occasional appearance, as on the EBM-influenced "Join Us," the violent shouting on "One Minute" sounds as though it's being distorted not by studio effects but rather a broken amplifier. This sense of damaged equipment pervades the entire album; if you could whip a drum machine into a state of exhaustion like an abusive stagecoach driver whipping his team, it would sound like the careening rhythms of "Pass the Knife." This makes the more stately moments, like the somber pianos of "Kiss the Tears" or the dark strings of title track "Seethe," all the more striking. While the band's combination of chunky metal guitars, industrial percussion and techno loops is less like smoothly blending genres than bashing them together until they break, they're also quite capable of doing straightforward industrial rock anthems, as evidenced by the fist-pumping chorus of "The Deepest Cut" or the deadpan but rhythmic "Drained," which calls to mind a more glitch-laden version of Chris Connelly's Murder Inc. project. By and large, though, this is mean, ugly, cynical stuff; if you want catchy guitar hooks and choruses that you can sing along to, you're better off looking elsewhere, but if you miss the spirit of industrial music the way it was before it got cleaned up and presentable, you'll be missing out if you don't give a listen to the Flesh Eating Foundation.
Visit the Flesh Eating Foundation online at www.flesheatingfoundation.co.uk.
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