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8 out of 10
Remember the old days where rock music was played with guitars, electro music with keyboards and rap was performed by tough, streetwise black guys with elaborate jewellery? Well, like me, you’re clearly getting old, but my point is that Atlanta’s Family Force 5 are very much a band of their time. They’d have been laughed out of any of the aforementioned scenes not so long ago, but now they’re embraced by all three. Their mix of snyths, guitars and hip-hop style strike a chord with many fluorescent-clad young music fans looking for something a little different. This six track mini-album aims to build on the progress made by the band whilst supporting Cobra Starship in February.
Title track ’Dance Or Die’ has a very disco feel to it, almost as if it could have been written for another famous family five piece, it’s only the aggressive choral delivery that makes it clear that it’s not a track for the mainstream. ’Fever’ is impossibly funky, sharp electro beats punctuate what is actually quite a heavy track. ’Get Your Back Off The Wall’ is storming, the screams, which would usually sound the death knell for any electro based band, are used to great effect to augment a heavy, call and repeat chorus.
The only black mark is the final track, ’Ghostride The Whip’ which invokes images of cruisin’, an image which is hard to stomach when you see the band (5 white guys, complete with emo fringes) and consider the names of those making the music (Chap Stique and Crouton are my personal favourites). Whilst image alone can’t turn a song bad, it’s the fact that the song lacks everything that made the previous five songs great, namely a dance-able tune and a sense of fun that, up until that point, seeps out of the speakers and envelops the listener.
If you’re looking for an interesting, diverse and upbeat album, you could do far worse than pick this up. Whilst Family Force 5 may not end up being many peoples favourite band, their influences almost too diverse for devotion, they will be many peoples guilty pleasure and, as those who have seen them on the Cobra Starship tour will testify, the ultimate party band.
1. Dance Or Die
2. Keep The Party Alive
4. Share It With Me (Nico Hartikainen of Danger Radio Remix)
5. Get Your Back Off The Wall
6. Ghostride The Whip