Album review: FF | Lord

Seattle came to prominence in music terms around the time when the eighties became the nineties, as a whole generation of noisy guitars emerged. Twenty or so years on, despite Starbucks and Macklemore the area maintains a reputation for distorted guitar nirvana, and the strangely-named FF are the latest band to emerge from the so-called home of noisy guitars.

Their album Lord, is more of a mini-album, with eight songs dispatched in 24 minutes. Rather than being in thrall to the likes of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, FF shift their musical compass eastwards towards My Bloody Valentine and their gaze ‘shoe-wards’. Opening track Dead Head would give contemporaries The Horrors or Cheatahs a run for their money, with Harley Thompson’s muffled, snarled vocals accompanying growling guitars. Their brand of music is less dreamy more of the propulsive, riffing variety on tracks like the borderline Stooge-y Dusted and It’s Alright.

One or two tracks of this sounds exhiliarating but the effect diminishes as the album progresses. The brief, jangly In A Day sees Claire Nelson take the lead vocals, and she also adheres to the muffled template. Past Year might be the strongest thing here, it arrives just when momentum is starting to flag, a strong, driving riff lifting proceedings out of the murk. There’s little variety on the album, sure, but over a brief running time it matters less than it should. Without musical progression the listener won;t be transported anywhere in the long run, but this, for all its similarities to noiseniks of the past, is an enjoyable listen.

Killian Laher

1. Dead Head
2. Dusted
3. It’s Alright
4. Caught In A Dream
5. In A Day
6. Past Year
7. Theme
8. Come To Pass

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