Foot – The Balance Of Nature (Copper Feast Records)

Foot – The Balance Of Nature (Copper Feast Records)

A fascinating cross-pollination of styles...

Aussie rockers Foot kick up some dust on this new album, and no mistake.

If you believe what you read in their press release, this Melbourne-basewd outfit are a workaday stoner/desert rock band, with all the accompanying musical tropes that such a label would confer on them. But the truth, brothers and sisters, is oh so very different. Very different and very satisfyingly so…

… so, while the PR people would have you believe you’re in for an entirely predictable three quarters of an hour of Kyuss, the Atomic Bitchwax and QOTSA (all of which are present in small doses, I’ll grant you), what you actually get is a heady and very refreshing take on the stoner genre that has more to do with names like The Stone Roses and Alice in Chains than any of the usual suspects.

The riffy Break The Altar (Light-Shade) sums this state of affairs up most succinctly; When the overdriven guitars kick in it’s pure Cantrell; but the vocals of Paul Holden (who also contributes axe with six string counterpart Pete Wallder) are a deliciously different mix of the Roses’ Ian Brown and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club‘s Peter Hayes; the upshot of this is a sort of cross-pollination of styles that are actually closer than the casual listener might think. Of course all of these names are rooted in the psych rock scene of the late sixties, so maybe the synergies ‘discovered’ here by your reviewer’s crazed ears aren’t so surprising after all…

But whatever, there’s no denying that on great tacks like Manic Progression Foot really do manage to pull off a masterful fusion of indie rock and full-on heavy metal thunder, of gentle yet nailed-down vocal harmonisation and the wild eyed abandon of a hydra-handed guitar hedonism. It’s a heady mix, and one I urge you to familiarise yourself with as soon as possible.

The vinyl version of The Balance of Nature releases on July 31st.

Michael Stronge

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