Sunday, May 03, 2009

Fox Force 5 - If It Feels Good EP

Fox Force 5 If It Feels Good EP (One Million Dollar Records, 1996)

If ska had a tough time in the 90s, then its sister subculture, the Mods, enjoyed an equally barren run in that particular decade. It was never easier to find the gear to get the look down pat, and this perhaps watered down the inherently elitist drive behind the whole enterprise; if yer gonna dress in a three-piece suit every show and play rock-based music in 1996, then you might as well make some fucking dough in a dopey ska band playing to 1000 kids per night in the process. Eh. There were some good mod-influenced bands (The Strike come immediately to mind, perhaps the Odd Numbers...), but in general it was a one-way road to boredom. Our friends here in the thoroughly "blech"-monikered Fox Force 5 have nothing, and I mean nothing, going for them. They've got the trad 90s Mod look, their song titles reveal zilch depth and they sport the ultimate handicap: they're fucking Krauts. And yet, they pull it off, at least on the two tracks we've ripped off their debut EP.

There's a sort of
Prae-Kraut Pandemonium consciousness evident, especially in that first track, "Pocadot Top Girl" with its muttered vocal style playing off the femme faux-soul belter, (one Matha K.). The Mod trip was to be smart, not formulaic, and there is definite evidence of intelligence, uh, evident on this EP. In fact, this group got an LP out a year or so later that had loads of sharp smart-ass lyrics based in a sound that leaned increasingly away from straight-up Mod derivitives and more towards a garage-modern rock smersh that almost felt like a reaction to Britpop bands like Blur and Supergrass. Not bad, and even Shane White in MRR felt so at the time as well. We'll leave the LP for some other time (riiiight) and stick with this nifty Mod-Pop-Garage EP for the nonce. -Ryan W.

Pokadot Top Girl
The One I Get

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