I had connected with the people behind the amazing Bearded Punk Records in Belgium awhile back. It was on a whim and I honestly didn’t think I’d get a response but, not only did I get a response, I got a stack of music to check out from them! Sadly, this stack had gotten lost on my desk a long time ago but something about F.O.D’s ‘Sleepville’ album stuck out from my stack to me tonight so let’s dig into this album that Bjorn from Bearded Punk Records highly recommended.
“Letter To Laura” kicks off this album and I was instantly hooked. The vocals on this opening track are so distinct yet so familiar somehow. Overall, the sound of F.O.D is a classic rock n’ roll sound with a little bit of an edge. It’s a huge sound that only grows and grows throughout this opening track. It really caught me and had me lost for words. There are rises and falls in this opening track like you wouldn’t believe and I wouldn’t be lying if I said I didn’t just sit at my desk as this opening song played with my jaw on my desk. Is this true love at first listen?
“Coming Out” is literally under forty-seconds long but the punk edge of F.O.D. really comes to the forefront for this track and I wanted it to last forever. This quick track absolutely packs a punch and sets the stage perfectly for “Out of Hand”. As “Out of Hand” played through my speakers, I realized that the vocals that caught me so hard on the opening track are just a signature of this band and I seriously couldn’t get over it. This track reminded me of GOB and other early 2000’s pop-punk bands but there’s a more classic rock sound and tone when it comes to the guitars. Unfortunately, one of the “punk elements” that F.O.D. showcases on this album are the short track aspect and, after just a minute and eleven seconds, “Out of Hand” had stopped, and “Only Stories” had taken over.
“Only Stories” was an instant favorite of mine. Again, ridiculously short at just a minute and forty-one seconds long, this track, like the previous ones, really packed a punch. I loved the driving drumbeat. That drumbeat breezes through this track and into “Liberty or Death” which definitely has a similar vibe. Although I was so bummed that the songs were so short, it makes sense and the way these past three short songs go together is just perfect.
Things finally slow down a little bit for “Fall in Line (Acoustic Version)”. I mean, I guess that song title gives a lot away but what it doesn’t give away is the emotion and tenderness that the band gives this track. It seriously sounds like a whole other band but, those vocals make it clear that you are still listening to F.O.D. There’s almost a sea-shanty-like vibe to this track that is absolutely infectious and made this a stand-out track on an already stand-out album.
It’s full steam ahead as “Disobedience and Consequence” takes over from “Fall in Line”. The band seems to come back faster and bigger than before but maybe that’s just because of the calming nature of “Fall in Line” and how it almost makes you forget just how intense and politely in-your-face F.O.D. can be. “Salt of the Earth” continues with the onslaught of just absolutely perfect punk-edged rock n’ roll that F.O.D does so well. I really wish I had more to say here but I can only gush over this band so much before they think I’m a creeper or something. All I can really say is this band has a sound that absolutely needs to be heard.
“Small Town Resident” may be the second to last track on the album but there’s clearly no slowing this band down. The drumbeat is still constant and driving while those perfectly unique vocals soar above everything else. With the chugging guitars and steady bassline, this song was yet another just solid powerhouse of a track. I was so lost in trying to find more things to say that would be a bit more constructive than just “Dang, these guys are so good”, that I was a bit surprised as hints back to “Letter to Laura” took over my speakers again. “Letter to Laura (Reprise)” brings this album full circle and, although I never wanted this album to end, at least it ended with this reprise.
Apparently, I did this all wrong. This album is actually the second part of an epic concept album that F.O.D. put together that includes a book and a whole storyline. Unfortunately, I am just now reading that part of the email that I got. Fortunately, that means I have more from F.O.D. that I have to check out and I honestly can’t wait. Even though I technically cheated and didn’t quite get the full story of “Sleepville”, I loved every second of this part of the masterpiece and I can’t wait to check out the rest!
My Favorite Track(s): “Only Stories”
For Fans Of: Perfection; Punk-Edged Rock N’ Roll; Energy and Power
Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie drank water in the kitchen; Autumn chewed at her nails on the couch
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
Check Out F.O.D. Here:
Check out this secret C side to ‘Sleepville’ HERE! (but maybe check out the actual ‘Sleepville’ album out first!)
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