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And this Army: FOE

Lately there has been a merger going on between indie rock and heavy metal. Bands like Isis and Pelican carry the 'heaviness' of metal, with some of the sounds, shapes, and writing of indie rock. This, and some other recent metal bands such as The Sword, are sometimes labeled as hipster metal. Listening to And This Army's debut album FOE, I immediately had to think of hipster metal. The discordant sounds are clearly an indie rock influence, and while I am a huge fan of some of the 90s indie rock bands such as Archers of Loaf, the overuse of them by bands (even some reaching the radio) currently is something that makes me feel that it's just a trend, and will die out. I guess I will know when bands like And This Army make their second or third album, and if it's still the same sound, if they've found a label, and if it's being purchased, then perhaps it is more than just a trend.

And This Army does not sound exactly like the aforementioned bands, so I do not think they are a copycat. The band clearly also has some doom, sludge, and psychedelic elements. The groove that the songs follow can be fairly addicting, and its easy to listen to. The lead guitar playing in the first track, "Jezebel", at least seems inspired. The singing throughout is basically the same, it's that apathetic, drudge, style that is another mood instrument. In the future, I'd like to hear the voice being brought out more and trying to be more forceful, original, and just having a greater impact. From what I've heard on these songs he has the potential to do that. However, musically I think that this band has some real creativity, song crafting skills, and potential. This is one of the few sludge albums that I've listened to that still has enough going on in it to keep my attention; whether its the well placed drum beats (that aren't always used to just to form the rhythm, but to provide an impact), weird guitar noises at well placed areas, or the generally non-repetitiveness of the songs.

I cannot comment on the lyrics because I was not provided with any. Thus, I have no idea what motivations the band had with their music. Nor can I even get a clue what a song like "The Ghost of Johnny's Pizza" is about. This also makes it hard for me to tell if this band is genuine or is just following some of the recent trends.

The band is worth loading up myspace to listen to what they have, if you are fans of any of the bands mentioned in this review, or in genre some of the styles mentioned. If you like those songs, then you'll probably enjoy each song on the album, since they are fairly equal in strength.

Track Listing
1. Jezebel
2. The Ghost of Johnny's Pizza
3. Expiration
4. Blackbeard
5. Stranglehold
6. Cleopatra's Needle

Added: November 11th 2006
Reviewer: Scott Borre
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3052
Language: english

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