Monday, 27 October 2014
EP Review - Foreignfox - We Float Like Sinking Ships
Oh Foreignfox, where have you and your melancholic vocals and soulful guitar vibes been hiding? Whether stranger or friend the band's debut EP We Float Like Sinking Ships welcomes you in like an old long lost acquaintance.
On opening track Quiet at Home, with delicate and mellow strings, all the while luring you in with front man Johnny Watt’s deliciously ripe, Scottish accent; which is neither over egged or disguised; bring the spark out in the vocals and light up each track. And spark, this track certainly does. Erupting in full punk, rock style the guitars rip up and explode changing the whole dimension of the song in just one second.
Blackout opens with promise of light, teasing us with tones of merriment, courtesy of the crashing cymbals and remarks of having one too many; "How drunk must I be to think my liver, just spoke to me". Despite the jovial intro, the track begins to unravel and demonstrates the opposing connotations from it’s title and instead, highlights a tale of domestic abuse in a relationship. "I hope to God, I don’t do something wrong… He says it gives him extra confidence, to go home and slap her about." The extremity of the lyrics are matched equally by the dominating yet beautifully urgent guitar notes and accompanying drums, as Foreignfox demand you to take cover.
As the EP builds momentum we reach the quintessential acoustic number. The Truth About Sex explores the painful experience of infidelity. Exploiting a raw episode, Foreignfox fling this secret out in the open for everyone to hear, much like Watt describes, "I’ll split my head open, I’ll put it back together." Letting the venom of thoughts spill out, clearing his mind, and putting himself back together.
As I listen to Yoghurt I realise the EP has unfolded to a critical stage and I’m now right in the underbelly of Foreignfox. Revealing a personal and harrowing time of his life clearly does not come easy to Watt as his voice is wounded with anguish and genuine sadness as he recalls the memory. Done so with elegance, he paints a painful picture of his helpless state and fearful thoughts. The lyrics don’t require much from the listener, you don’t have to strip it down and analyse the words to understand where he was when he wrote this, it’s written in the truest and simplest form. Well, they are Scottish after all. The simplicity of the lyrics match somewhat perfectly with the accompanying instruments. By listening to this track you can tell he hasn’t written this song to fit with a genre, or because the subject alone would make a great song but because he had to write about a significant occurrence such as this in his life, and as he states, "They said just write about what you know." And I’m glad he did. Laced with soul, Watt’s vocals intertwine with the hazy guitars and smashing drums and produce an exhilarating and graceful track.
Melodious guitar rifts rise up with energy and are met with the upbeat rhythmic of drums as the Dunfermline four piece close their debut EP on a high. We Float Like Sinking Ships doesn’t abandon the sincerity and pain of the previous track but links up, making reference to the suffering and the past but through the bouncing rhythm of the beat, you can hear a glimmer of hope and optimism. I don’t know if it’s the fiery Scottish accent, the dominating backing vocals creeping up my spine or the volume on my earphones but I’m filled with equal measures of musical euphoria and misery. Either way, I’m just glad Foreignfox are no longer hiding.
- Melaine McKinley
Foreignfox - We Float Like Sinking Ships is now and can be purchased from the bands Bandcamp page.