Wednesday 2 May 2018

Review: Flesh Eating Foundation – 'We Are Fucked'

'We Are Fucked'

Flesh Eating Foundation make a welcome return with their seventh release, 'We Are Fucked'. Never ones to shy away from expletives, bizarre sounds, and general craziness, 'We Are Fucked' is a great example of cyberpunk madness executed in a particularly British idiom. Experimental, confrontational, occasionally tongue-in-cheek, and always fierce in intent. The band are a law unto themselves that doesn't quite fit into one particular scene and so have been rather criminally underrated.

Originally a duo, the band is comprised of John E. Smoke (songs, noises and shouting, deafness and blindness), The Juddaman (writing, voices and noises) and Jules (axes and shouts), with Mash and Big Un joining on guitars when the mood is right. Co-founder John E Smoke is known as one of the few deaf/blind musicians working on the scene and can often be seen with his lovable noise loving guide dog JJ.

'We Are Fucked' doesn't shy away from anything (as you'd expect with a title like 'We Are Fucked'). The vocals are often shouted rather than sung, giving choruses a shout-a-long quality, the beats are massive, the distortion is thick, the synths range from circuitbent to classic industrial, and there is even some piano in there.

Songs such as 'We Are Fucked', 'Having Fun', 'Scumbags And Slags', 'Punch Drunk', 'Slick Dick Prick Lick', and 'Stand Up And Be Discontinued' give the album a relentless backbone of big beats, savage synths, infectious vocals and utterly chaotic yet infectious melodies. Whereas the likes of 'Futurelast', 'The End', and 'Capacity' see the band push their experimental sides into near ambient territory and taking the tracks on a cinematic escapade that is somewhat unexpected but very welcome.

The album is then rounded off by a series of remixes of 'We Are Fucked' and 'Having Fun' which sees the likes of AlienNation, Mr. Strange, XSRY, Paresis, and Inertia give each track a radical overhaul. This serves to rein-in the madness a little and re-work the tracks into far more club-friendly offerings.

In terms of the production this is perhaps one of the band's most accomplished outings so far. It's still vehemently DIY and rough around the edges – there's plenty of punk in these cyberpunks. But it isn't swamped with noise and distortion, the beats power the tracks ahead and the vocals slice through for maximum effect.

This is the band's strongest release so far. It's balances its experimental nature with solid and direct songwriting that overflows with anger and outrage. It's a perfect blend of the technological uncertainty and social repression of the modern age and has some pretty sick beats to boot.

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