Review Summary: Call and response, continued.
A greater helping of the most influential, seminal punk acts are the ones that don’t water down their craft with gimmicks, or tamper with fundamental elements of their live sound. For some, the triumph in their existence at a post-punk movement’s genesis was in the message, or words spoken. On other accounts, bands played into their aesthetic as the defining feature of their existence. Over the years, many an artful worshiper has chosen and soaked in the influences and knowledge obtained by studying the innovators of a music scene. Better yet, fewer have taken the keys to crafting great bands and a collective musical prowess to meld their own niche sound. Fresh out of Salt Lake City, Foster Body have released their own take on panicked spurts of energetic intelligence with Moving Display
. Post-punk in itself has seen a mini-renaissance this decade, particularly with bands sparking new and exciting outputs of self-expression, and hero worship of the men and women of the movements spawning in the United States., the UK, and all over the world. Within the confines of a blanket term genre, the Utah quartet provide a concise blend of tunes, invoking an artful tendency of frantic aggression in their sound.
Right out of the gate, Moving Display
vibes to the very motion it projects in its track titles personified, and marching drums driving each melody forward. Songs are crafted in booming bursts of pale energy that charge with a playful fervor. At the same time, the vastness in the atmosphere proves to create a frantic pacing side by side with lead vocalist Korey Martin’s bold vibrato. Consider the borderline comical stylings in something like The Feelies’ debut, Crazy Rhythms
, and listeners can gather a good idea of what to expect here, just in smaller doses. Martin, along with bassist Dyana Durfee find a consistent back-and-forth in vocal duties, Durfee often lurking in the background of songs with demanding shouts. On the song “Listen”, jarring guitar and a consistent plucking bass provide her the stage to highlight what Foster Body use to their advantage on the slower numbers, that is, displaying illustrious emotion in shouting voices with only a minimal amount of instrumentation; “You’re filling up the air, you’re taking up space”, she wails.
For each “slow jam”, there appears to be an equal and opposite wild resolve to pardon for it in absence. That works to Foster Body’s advantage as far as diversification goes in the overall layout of the record, but at it’s heart, Moving Display
is almost too short to really take notice of the compiling of sounds and experimentations. Considering their closest comparisons, even taking masters of short bursts of art-punk anthems such as The B-52’s and Devo, the magic of the new wave movement of the late 1970’s was in bands’ ability to cite innovative additions to a stagnant punk rock sound. Not that we should expect a cut copy formula out of this generation’s revivalists, but it’s difficult to hit the right chords as a new, big thing given the type of music one plays and the amount of space and time created to fully blossom. It’s certainly not fair to ask that of Foster Body to become like their ancestors, because we live in a different day and age. Their craft follows a new wave brand of post-punk, and that is their forte. Where they truly shine is on songs like “You Were Not You” and “Touching & Moving”, where the instrumentation develops into an enrapturing display of musicianship altogether. The former track is a perfect example of the beautiful syncopation and tightness in the male and female vocals chomping at the bit one after another. Pair that with crashing cymbals and a myriad of nifty guitar licks, the song transitions into a building climax, with punching drums and driving bass, all leading to Korey Martin’s repetitive yet captivating uneasiness, reeling off over and over “you were not to blame, for you were not you”.
Whether Foster Body take an artful approach to songwriting, or the band’s affinity for sparse guitar and bass pattern takes control and a brasher manner, Moving Display
is exciting every which way. At times, the abruptness in tracks less than two minutes leave a little more to be desired, but in any case, the fast-paced flurry in a trifecta ensemble from “Safe Betrays The Medicine” to “See-See” relish the band in its self-aware diversity as both students of chaotic punk rock, and careful introspection. Surely, passion overflows throughout the entire record, yet the four members of Foster Body shine brightest as a collective noise of clever wordplay, and intertwined noise. When the band really clicks as a cohesive unit is at points where the instruments can jam in unison, and experimentation runs rampant with clean guitar riffs and creeping bass. Revel in the latest entry in a new revival of the student’s of post-punk. Listen to the homage to celebration and simultaneous anxiety in “Touching & Moving”. Above all, give Moving Display
a listen on accord of a unique sound being resurrected once again thanks to the Salt Lake City quartet.