Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Foot Village

Anti-Magic (Upset the Rhythm, 08.09)

For: Lightning Bolt minus Brian Gibson, The Boredoms, Liars

Byline: The drum is not dead!

You have just entered into some pretty dangerous territory. You are walking on some pretty volatile ground. You made it past the razor wires, stun guns, mile-high concrete walls and you are approaching on foot. You made it past the daunting physical barriers but you will not live past the 46 minutes of brutal blasts of muscular, poly-rhythmic drum grooves played with primitivist, material abandon. Welcome to Foot Village suckers. Ground zero.

L.A "drum-n-shout" collective Foot Village, loosely associated with Los Angeles' all-age scene which has birthed No Age, Abe Vigoda, Ponytail, HEALTH, etc... has spawned something all together more sinister and gloating. Anti-Magic is a virtual blitzberg of post-electronic, neanderthal pummeling sans guitars, sans bass, sans anything except for a six arms flailing in unison pounding out a clarion call for the death of a society based on the ideals of intangible mysticism. A return to strictly materialistic restructuring of ideology couldn't be beat into our heads (sorry) more explicitly than the chosen aesthetic of the art-form (all literal kinetic movements no effects) and, of course, that album cover. A bunch of naked people fighting cloaked wizards in a post-apocalyptic desert landscape. Plus the fact that the lead singer is about to smash one of these robed marauders with a nuclear bomb helps drive the point home. I suppose there is some sort of fantastical, alternate-reality back story, but, eh, whatever.

The penchant for experimental bands of this ilk to push record and churn out lazy, meandering jam-scapes is irresistible for some. Foot Village eschew this tendency and pen songs, real songs, real songs with verse/chorus arrangements, epic breakdowns, spoken word pieces, and preposterously complex drum arrangements. Songs actually have a discernible arc and logical sequence. "TAKE" starts with an a-cappella cheerleader round before launching into a completely ferocious trifecta of drums and growling, grunting vocal delivery. After a bridge, a breakdown and then a relaunching of voices and percussion we are back where we started from. A pretty deft-move from a band that takes its primary musical cues from pre-columbus tribal customs.

The last track "Chicken & Cheese 2 w/Friends" is an obvious departure from their oeuvre so I am not going to spend too much time on it. But for the record: AIDS Wolf, 13 other musicians, drum and bass, rap, electro-dance interludes. Probably one of the most enjoyable train rides home I have ever experienced.

So, you did it. You made it through unscathed. The natives, while in the midst of a bloody war, were civil, even friendly. You left with your western ideals in tact, in fact you even left with some charming souvenirs that will look great placed on the shelves of your entertainment center that are sure to impress your friends at your next get together.

Ryan H.

FOOT VILLAGE "ANTI-MAGIC" from Deathbomb Arc on Vimeo.

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