REVIEW: FEELS – Post Earth

Described on their Facebook page as a ‘psych punk grunge post future rock + roll whatever band’, I elected to listen to this album for the first time while out on a run. If it turned out to be anywhere near as bold and energetic as this description suggested, I figured it would provide the perfect addition to my playlist to help me get up a few hills.

The first few songs did not disappoint. Both Car and Awful Need are punchy, guitar driven tracks with plenty of attitude, making clear their disgust at the current social and political climate and setting the scene for the apocalyptic vision prophesised by the album.

It’s almost impossible not to enjoy the dark humour of Deconstructed, as it spirals off into its shouty rampage about our tendency to do nothing about our fears for the future other than quell our anxieties with another ‘fucking cigarette’.

But then Find A Way comes on. Essentially a call to arms to ‘find a way….to avoid doomsday’, the predictable lyrics imploring that ‘we’ve got to open our eyes/open our minds/burn all the money, all the flags, all the stupid pride/and unite’ seem a little cringey at times. It was easy to imagine this track being in a Broadway or West End show (TRUMP! The Musical, perhaps) and while harnessing such theatricality to express political sentiments can work well (such as with Hurray for the Riff Raff’s 2017 album, The Navigator, which is similarly centred around a vision of a dystopian future), here it just seemed awkward and a little embarrassing.

Although Find A Way left me a little concerned as to where this album was headed, things certainly turn around a couple of songs later. Sour proves to be a fascinating track that builds from a playful, largely instrumental intro into a sardonic attack on VIP lifestyles, complimented by the sound of background chatter. And things really come together for the band on Last Chance, where Laeana Geronimo’s slightly PJ Harvey-esque vocals combine perfectly with the relentless drumbeat to create a rousing tirade against modern society. Post Earth sounds like a far more accomplished version of Find A Way, while Tollbooth stands out not only for its bold treatment of depression but also for the clever, unexpected shifts in momentum that jolt the listener about and add to the growing sense of uneasiness that builds up throughout the album.

Overall, Post Earth does a good job of harnessing the apocalyptic concept to capture a sense of the anxieties and disillusionment many of us feel in current times. Combined with the band’s brash but playful attitude, it’s a fun album that cleverly draws the listener in to experience the nightmarish future that it envisions. Tracks from Sour onwards were particularly absorbing, to the extent that I even forgot I was running at times during that first listen. Definitely an album to return to, as long as you have your finger poised on the skip button for Find A Way.

Words by Kirsten Loach.

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