F.O.D. – Harvest

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Listening to F.O.D.’s music is a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to the attention span. Mine is rather short. I have a hard time sitting through an entire song if I don’t like the first 30 seconds. But, I feel like this quartet’s new album is playing tricks on my mind. Seeing the 17-track listing felt overwhelming at first. The funny thing is, most of these songs are under three minutes long.  

F.O.D. (Which means Fuck Off and Die. I read in an Out Of Step interview that it’s inspired by a Green Day song with the same name.) is a Belgian punk band that recently released its third album, Harvest, on February 7th.  According to the group’s official website, the album was written in the midst of divorce and therefore is a tad darker than the past records. The opening tracks, 41 and Crew You are both slightly under the two-minute mark and both feature relentless pounding on the snare and hi-hat topped by a string section that frantically works to stay in time with the drums.

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Last is a little longer and down-tempo at 2:27. Something here brings Rise Against to mind. It has that angry and rebellious feel in the verse. Yet, the chorus is so optimistic that it may grant your spirit wings.  “I would like to wake up feeling what I haven’t felt in years,” the vocalist sings. “Learn from the past, going steadfast, maybe this will last.”  

Forever Grateful (For Toon) is surprising in that it reaches just past three minutes and it opens with faint acoustic strumming instead of amps. Nothing about this is rushed. But that’s only the first half-minute. The remainder is the usual hurried and joyous punk.

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There’s a place (where we can go to) is the best example of vocal abilities on the opus thus far.  Other publications have praised their vocal harmonies, but these guys croon like the Beach Boys on this one.  F.O.D.’s darker side really shows in the lyrics to Kiss Away. “It never seems to function, waste away. It’s all so pointless. The same mistake, more heartache, there’s no reason for things to end up like this.” This is the longest song of them all at 4:03. The darkness continues on American, a thrashy piece about bigotry in the U.S.  And in Act of Consecration, the band criticizes religion and branches out into a thicker and heavier sound.

Harvest is stripped-down punk. There are no bells and whistles or anything fancy about it. Practically every song is delivered in a short, fast, and simple manner. Maybe the name should be changed from F.O.D. to A.D.D. because the members don’t seem to focus on one composition for too long. So, I will assume that they don’t really mind too much if their fans aren’t fully focused on the particular song either as long as everyone’s having fun.

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