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Feral Family – Without Motion

Feral Family – Without Motion

From the East Coast of Yorkshire come Feral Family, the latest post-punk revivalists with their own particularly bleak world view. Here are four young men with weight distinctly on their shoulders. Without Motion is their debut album. Let’s take a look.

Feral Family comprise Jamie Lowe (vocals), Oscar Woods (guitar), Daniel Wilson (bass) and Aidan Riby (drums) According to Woods the name Feral Family is deliberately reflective of their band dynamic. I’m already imagining plenty of snarling at rehearsals. There’s a wildness to their recordings too with certain tracks veering more toward doom-laden howls than ‘songs’.

The album takes inspiration from their home town of Bridlington, a small seaside resort on the Yorkshire coastline. As an alumni of Bognor Regis (yes there!) myself I know the feeling. Seaside towns are oddly schizophrenic places which come fleetingly to life in holiday season. Even then only when the weather happens to be nice. Outside of that small window they are neglected, barren places, old ladies once beautiful in their day but that day long since gone. Despite all the romanticism of such faded glamour they still remain towns, run down areas with grubby little precincts, alleyways, pushers, muggers and, you know…. ordinary life. When Morrissey sang of the coastal town they forget to burn down we all thought he meant our town. Without Motion is the sound of the Armageddon that Moz implored, re-imagined by Feral Family – a dystopian vision of Bridlington brimming with salubrious characters and eccentric vignettes.

Sonically this release stands alongside acts such as Ist Ist or the heavier work of, say, Interpol. It feels less stylised though than New Yorkers or even the likes of Slow Readers Club. Feral Family are more bruising – (think Preoccupations) and they reach further back in time for their references. I’m reminded of The Sound, Danse Society and of course Joy Division. Lowes voice is actually a dead ringer for a younger Brendan Perry – the Perry of the debut Dead Can Dance, still striving for Curtis when he should have been going for Scott Walker.

The albums strength is perhaps also its weakness. The consistency on display here is very admirable, each angry anthem as good as the previous one. This makes for a very solid album but at some point it does become a bit of a procession. I feel that they needed to include something stripped back to punctuate the heftier work. Sometimes you need a low to get high again.

Feral Family have been touring in support of The View and now have their own headlining dates coming shortly. They feel like ones to keep tabs on.

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