Holding up a mirror to the inanities of modern national life, sandwiched between post-punk and indie, FEET have made a habit of steering between caustic and deadpan impishness – grounded by self-deprecation, jolting into the evermore acerbic with the passing of each release.
The Coventry-issuing five-piece, North London-based for the last two years, are at a rancorous crossroads, the offbeat shenanigans of their early singles rupturing into increasingly dicey, razor-edged wit, found front and centre of Walking Machine. A product of the times in its acid-tongued flippancy, amplifying the pangs of discontent that twitched at the border of full-length debut What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham; playfulness morphing into frustration, softer slapstick irreverence not completely absent but shouldered to the side-lines.
Socially aware quips loom large on the outfit’s latest EP, barbed digs at sanitised subculture set to punchy percussion and nimble guitar work, George Haverson’s raconteur roguishness wrapping around wordplay opining on the plastic, vacuous and innocuous. Self-defining this new juncture as “crease pop”, FEET are at their most invested in their current incarnation, at ease in disrupting the status quo. “Peace & Quiet”, case in point, flaunts an immediate revitalised sense of direction in rallying against a sell-out instinct amongst certain quarters: “Corporate ass kissing / Closing down venues / Cos the hippies ain’t listening”. Not dour or sceptical for its own sake, a vibrancy is present that the band have flaunted since day one, a constant that runs through the Ramones-esque leering “Library” and the rockabilly strum of “Arena”, a sobering lyrical reflection on the current state of the live music landscape.
Reaching a limber balance between light sarcasm and jutting takedowns, Walking Machine is FEET retaining their sly humour, dialling down the wonk-pop overtones, while sprinting towards a more cynically geared approach, a move that’s both cutting and infectiously droll.