Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Faintest Idea - The Voice of Treason

I first came across Faintest Idea on an extremely drunken night at Rebellion 2009. I was in the process of shoving my extremely inebriated and somewhat concussed mate into the back of an ambulance, when I was accosted by a man brandishing CDs in my face. I later discovered he was throwing his bands CDs at me. I said I would have one, he gave me five. I managed to leave 4 of them in various places around Blackpool, but I took one home with me and gave it a listen. It was good. Really good. Easily one of the best ska punk albums I'd heard since maybe What's Next by The Filaments. Faintest Idea's latest album, The Voice of Treason, is the best thing they've done to date. It's angry, it's fast, you can dance to it, you can shout to it, and parts of it get stuck in your head for days on end.

The opening track, Back to the Asylum, is one of the songs that has been circling round my mind like a lost driver in Milton Keynes. Opening with some spoken word and introducing brass and guitars into the track gradually, it gets faster and faster and is impossible not to enjoy. I caught myself singing it at work today, even when I hadn't listened to the track in well over 12 hours. The track blends into Rattling the Cage, a much faster and noticeably angrier song. If the first track was for the ska heads, this is for people who like their more traditional street punk and like it fast and loud. It's still catchy as fuck. It slows right down again to get you in a mental state of confusion - but House of Cards lulls you into a false sense of security and before you know it you're transported into a skanking mass of bodies again (if you're listening to it live and not in your room). 

Those you follow TNS Records will be familiar with the next track, Bull in a China Shop (not to be confused with Leeds based TNS favourites China Shop Bull) and will have seen the video. I'll tell you now this track sounds even better live, and if you loved it the first time you'll love it even more amongst all the bounty of tracks on this album. Mutual Aid is another skank-worthy track with shout-a-long vocals at the end, followed by Defy & Demand, aka the band's "thrash song". Good job it's so short as at their live show the drummer looked knackered after playing it! It's an interesting addition onto the album though and works a treat (for those of us with short attention spans who favour tracks under 1 minute long). 

Separation of Corporation & State follows the track almost perfectly, then These Words are our Weapons, another track that's been stuck in my head for the past 5 days. 36 Barrells sounds like it could have stumbled off a Filaments album, followed by No Gods No Money which has made me dance every time I've heard it, whether I'm sat down, stood up or trying to do anything remotely productive. I just listened to it when writing this and had to turn it off because otherwise I wouldn't have typed anything...It's not the best track on the album, but it's impossible not to move some part of your body to it (unless you're Stephen Hawking). It's followed by Youth, another track that's been doing the rounds on the internet lately. It's fucking wicked. I can't wait to hear it live again! The album closes with They Drew First Blood, a fitting end to the album, starting with more spoken word and a sinister sounding chord progression before launching into heavy yet slow guitar and pounding drums. It's totally different to anything else that has been heard on the album till you get to this point, but is a certainly interesting way to round off the album.

I would like to finish by saying that Faintest Idea are the best thing to come out of Norfolk in a really long time. This album, with it's insane catchiness, could easily make the need for iPods and other music players obsolete, as it will be in your head forever, tattooed onto your brain. God bless TNS for another amazing release, and roll on Boomtown so I can hear this album live again!


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