F.O.D ‘Harvest’

Immediately striking are Hans Roofthooft’s vocals that manage to sound both beautifully harmonised yet rough around the edges, which erase the polished feel of modern punk albums
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Described as a “household name in the Belgian punk rock scene”, F.O.D burst have back into action with their third studio album, ‘Harvest’. Having started out as a Green Day cover band (their name taken from the closing track on the fan favourite ‘Dookie’ album), the influence of their punk rock predecessors litters this album. However, F.O.D has their own unique sound that flows through this 17 song album which is noticibly darker than their previous work.

Opening track ‘41’is loud, quick and a deft reminder of everything punk should be. Immediately striking are Hans Roofthooft’s vocals that manage to sound both beautifully harmonised yet rough around the edges, which erase the polished feel of modern punk albums. Short, and pretty much over before you realise what’s happening, it bleeds straight into the first single ‘Crew You’. The drum beat is thundering and it’s a great song with a charismatic refrain and Offspring-style vocals. 

The album races on, with the majority of the songs coming in at just over two minutes. ‘Last’ is the catchiest song on the album, and definitely has the potential to be a crowd favourite during live performances. ‘Party at Olm Street’ is teeming with old school, pop punk vibes and paints a vivid picture of empty bottles on a living room floor which really captures the theme of the song.

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The sixth song on the album, ‘Forever Grateful’ acts as a breather after the heavy, machine gun fire of the first five songs. It’s slower and more of a rock ballad than anything else compared to the rest of the album. It’s heartfelt and shows a slightly softer side to the band, while still keeping the ferocious musicality F.O.D is known for. The familiar sounding ‘There’s A Place’ breathes a romantic and melancholy longing into the album. ‘Kiss Away’ falls into the same, melancholy category as the album takes an emotional turn. With romantic regret oozing out of every word and it is one of the lyrically deeper songs on the album, and almost nihilistic in some instances.  The album itself has undertones of personal hardship, and ‘Kiss Away’ definitely showcases them by turning pain into art. The jam at the end really allows for the musical talent to shine, and instrumentally it is the strongest song on the album.

Angry single, ‘American’ is the most politically charged song on the album. Starting with sound bite that begins with “why do we hate?” sets the tone of the song. It’s truly topical and questions ‘true American’ values, which really hit hard. Even the instrumentals are angry, and it works as a political punk song and a daring single. ‘Act of Consecration’ travels in the same vein and is another politically relevant song that suggest F.O.D wants their audience to be as aware as they are at the chaos in the world.

Overall, ‘Harvest’ is a solid punk rock album. The songs bleed into each other well, and the short run time of the majority of the songs allows for short, sharp bursts of high energy, which is what is expected of this genre. The natural dips leave time for breath, but also have the typical lull of less capturing songs before picking up again. Granted, F.O.D hasn’t quite captured the formula for writing an epicrock ballad, but with their talent for lyrics, but there is raw passion …and lots of it

‘Harvest’ is out now

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