FOOT VILLAGE are a thunderous drum-n-shout assembly from Los Angeles – a thick forest of whirling limbs beating out rhythms for whispers and hollers to leap and dive through. Featuring members of Gang Wizard, Friends Forever and the infamous International Voice of Reason, Foot Village are pure hardcore spirit without the spark of electricity.
Erecting civilisation with drums and voices alone, Foot Village are the first nation built after the foreseeable apocalypse. Don’t get this self-imposed restraint confused with some neo-luddite stance however, as Foot Village only want to inspire others with the wide potential of rock music. Anything becomes possible if you have an idea to run with.
After a recent collection of singles, EP tracks and remixes on Gilgongo, Foot Village return with their new record proper called ‘Anti-Magic’. Describing ‘Anti-Magic’ as a collection of drum essays embracing the physical and rejecting the imaginary, Foot Village rise to a concept. First album ‘World Fantasy’ was concerned with songs about other countries, whilst follow-up ‘Friendship Nation’ documented the founding of Foot Village as a nation in it’s own right.
With this new album the story of the nation’s first war is discussed. A war in opposition to magic and spirituality. A record about resistance to the heathen hordes of sorcerers, prophets and pretenders. This is not a story that Foot Village are telling to make them look like saviours though. It’s a warning to not believe everything you’re told.
Contrary to a first listen to the band’s run riot sound, Foot Village are decidedly anti-jam. Very few parts of the record are improvised and their songs are heavily worked on and involved. This can be appreciated on this new album more than ever. “Crybaby” starts apprehensively with a cowbell and cymbal rattle, until the rim shots and vocals pour in, making way for the military march gone carnival signature beat to stamp it’s presence on the song.
“TAKE” fluxes with ever-changing drum patterns and wild vocals which almost edge each other into the impossible. A hushed breakdown in the middle of the song only makes the rampaging drum assault finale more intense. Foot Village prefer to shirk novelty for an evolving attitude to song writing, with tangents traced into new territories as a rule. “Reggae War Zone” works into the song a lot of melodic vocal exchanges that punctuate the drum stampede. “Grace’s Death” almost does away with percussion completely opting for an eerie vocal workout full of lament that explores repetition.
Over the course of this war/album, Foot Village do their best to show just how brutal a drums-and-screaming-only approach can be. But, by the end of the war, the virtues of all music are revealed to them and they join hands with bands of all styles for an “It’s A Small World” version of their song “Chicken & Cheese 2″ which features a “love song” section interpreted by countless friends, including AIDS Wolf, Jason Forrest, Kyle Mabson, Narwhalz, Tussle and Death Sentence: Panda!
When pretense has been banished, freedom can take wing and the doors can be flung open to everyone. Foot Village is a nation unlike any other and only by visiting can you really know.