FAT SHADOW area four-piece outfit from Bloomington, Indiana and ‘Foot Of Love’ is their debut long player. The band comprises two couples, although I’m not sure who of vocalist Daun Fields and bassist Erin Tobey, partners either guitarist Chris Mott or Jeff Grant on drums.
I do know that the band have a wealth of rock ‘n’ roll experience between them, having variously been involved with bands such as Pink Razors, Landlord, Early Day Miners and Holopaw, which granted, will be of more relevance to readers in The States.
I also know that the band run their own record label, Houseplant Records on which this album has been released, and have been stalwarts in the DIY scene in their own State and Country.
Other than that, I know very little. Repeated searches on t’internet have revealed nothing in the way of reviews relating to FAT SHADOW. Perhaps it’s permanently dark in Bloomington, and shadows are not revealed to the casual observer?
So let’s feed a little light to the ‘Foot Of Love’ album and see if the shadow will indeed manifest itself:
First observation is that when the promo CD (rather refreshingly, the album is being released only on good old-fashioned cassette and vinyl formats) is read, it indicates the genre of music as ‘punk.’ Indeed, in a recent interview, Daun concedes:“Punk, in my mind is evolving as I get older. I consider myself a punk, but also consider myself a lot of other things.”
Which is just as well, ‘cause FAT SHADOW ain’t no Exploited, Agnostic Front or Leftover Crack. Oh no, no, no.
So where does the album fall? Well, it just happens to be one of those that seem to take influence from a great many sources. And believe it or not, I even include Country music! Daun’s vocals are strong and clear with a great range throughout the album, but I just get a little whiff of a Country influence hidden amongst the rocking opener, ‘Waves.’
In general, the album rocks along nicely, more in an ‘alternative rock’ fashion than the ‘classic’ variety. It’s neither quirky or seeks to be outrageous by any manner of means, and perhaps suffers a little in the ‘memorable’ stakes because of it. But what it does retain is certain credibility.
To say it’s a ‘nice’ album seems almost be like condemning it as ‘nondescript’, which it most certainly isn’t. But it is a ‘nice’ album, mixing loud guitars with Daun’s vocals and on the likes of ‘Feelers,’ incorporating some bouncy beats and memorable hooks.
If I’m being honest, that is the probably the only track that sticks in my mind, but in saying that, ‘Foot Of Love’ is not an album that I would shy away from playing over and over again. It sort of quietly seeps into you consciousness without announcing itself by way of a bludgeoning or overly intricate introduction.
(Out now on Houseplant Records – vinyl and cassette formats – www.houseplantrecords.com )