Wednesday 6 August 2008

Pop Fosters: Your Music Is Shit - Sort It Out

I first came across Wakefield’s Pop Fosters via one of those ‘Can I Be Your Friend?’ requests that you get on MySpace. While I am not interested in dubious invitations from women called ‘Sherri’, I do listen to every band that makes contact in this way.

And Pop Fosters have a song called ‘Firing Line’. In its original demo form it had a tremendously loud, stuttering guitar riff and a slow, almost stumbling rhythm. I loved it unequivocally.

I’ve kept in touch with Richie Day and (guitar, shouting) Sara Askew (drums, backing shouting) ever since.

Now they have self-produced their own CD. It was recorded on a four track and is as rough and ready as might be expected from a garage band that does indeed practice in a garage. What it lacks in production values it more than compensates for in gleeful enthusiasm and pleasure in the sheer primitive power of rock and roll.

Opener ‘Insane’ sounds like a hammer hitting a wheel barrow. This is a good thing. ‘Breakin’ Up’ bashes along at a quick tempo, and deals with affairs of the heart.

‘Everyday’s The Same’ (sic) is marginally slower and features good use of what sounds suspiciously like a container of dried peas. ‘Phoenix’ is past you in a fifteen second burst of fury.

These songs are pure punk pop, in the traditional late Seventies sense of the word. They could have been played at the Roxy way back then and the clientele would have been spitting on each other with delight at the music’s happy bludgeoning.

‘Samuel Byck’ references Sean Penn’s character in the film ‘The Assassination of Richard Nixon’ and John Peel also gets a tribute song. He may well have appreciated it, too.

‘Self Health Preservation Society’ follows, with a gulped chorus from Richie that all can sing along to. Also good, is ‘USA’. You can just guess what that’s all about.

A change of pace occurs with the acoustic ‘The Band With No Fans’, which has the ring of personal experience. The album then ends with the fuzzed up title track, which may be the best song here, and directly challenges those who doubt them.

My only mild disappointment is the new version of ‘Firing Line’. It is now a full speed gallop and that wonderful halting, tottering riff has been buried and lost. A shame, but bands are always adapting, always moving forward and occasionally little things get misplaced in the march of progress. (The new version is also pretty neat though.)

The Pop Fosters' sound is unpolished, unpretentious and doesn't break any new ground. But it delivers a no frills old-school punk thrill that is mostly missing from the modern scene. It's got energy and it's got life. I'll happily settle for that ahead of all the muso noodling in the world.

The album title apparently comes from graffiti sprayed upon the wall of the garage where Pop Fosters rehearse and record. That critic is wrong. But ‘Your music is fun, raw, rowdy as hell and is annoying the neighbours – Keep up the good work!’ is nowhere near as snappy.

“Your Music Is Shit- Sort It Out!” can be obtained from the band here.

And here's a video of them doing the above mentioned 'Self Health Preservation Society'.

No comments: