Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Forward Russia - Give Me a Wall

The band is another entry into the English post-punk revival parade that began (for all intents and purposes) with Franz Ferdinand and continued with bands like Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs (not to mention Art Brut and Arctic Monkeys etc. ad nauseum). The main distinguishing feature of !FR! is a more high-concept stance than many of the others. Starting with the cheekiness of their oh-so-cleverly punctuated name to the strategy of naming their songs after numbers--i.e. "Thirteen," "Twelve" and even "Fifteen Pt. 1" and "Fifteen Pt. 2"(!), they then continue with smarter-than-thou lyrics to rival even the Decemberist's Colin Meloy for sheer vocabulary indulgence. Take this couplet from "Thirteen": "We can all change our tegument's function/Replace the outer shell with something more neoteric." Musically, they mine many of the usual suspects for inspiration. Angular guitar riffs courtesy of Gang Of Four, Big Rock Hooks courtesy of early U2, and a vocalist (Tom Woodhead) who sounds like some weird genetic experiment to cross the Cure's Robert Smith with Pere Ubu's David Thomas. Woodhead also doubles on synth, which, when noticeable, recall the Eurotechno that's been popular for years (see also: Muse).


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