FOAM launches "Coping Mechanism" this Saturday @ Badlands Bar
Local darlings FOAM have been honing their craft for a while now. The last few years have seen them go from busking on Albany Highway’s restaurant strip to well received interstate tours. From a string of singles, EPs and a split to finally releasing an album. A really bloody good album.
Although FOAM’s recent success may be tied to their tireless work ethic it also coincides with a transition in sound and style. Musically, the band has evolved from 90s-Seattle-grunge worship to a more experimental use of guitar noise, dissonance and dynamics that can only invoke the Steve Albini charged glory years of post-hardcore. This could have been the product of bandleader Joel Martin swapping his more submissive Fender Jaguar in preference of less tameable feedback monsters (specifically, Gibsons and Travis Bean guitars) over the course of the last couple of years.
The change is very discernible on the trio’s latest release, Coping Mechanisms. The guitar sound is blistering. Weaponised. It is the aural equivalent of being punched in the face. The guitars are angular, discordant and often feeding-back. But don’t be scared, there are melodic moments on the record too. The modulated guitar leading into “I Could Milk Myself” and the choral riff in “When Does it Get Better” help in making the album more accessible. Joel’s vocal delivery has evolved on their latest offering; it’s less Cobain and more Liddiard at his most deranged. The lyrics are personal and dare I say it, angsty, but without bearing too much vulnerability. This is quite refreshing when you consider how many local bands that drape themselves in so many layers of irony that you can’t be sure what’s earnest and what isn’t.
Studio output aside, the group’s reputation could be justified solely by their live shows. Having played together in excess of five years, FOAM sound tight, very tight - but with the intensity of a band in the rehearsal space for the first time. It’s almost like they haven’t forgotten the impetus that brought them together in the first place.
The boys are launching the aforementioned record Coping Mechanisms this Saturday night at Badlands Bar (Formerly Devilles Pad) in East Perth. Support comes from Childsaint, Shit Narnia, The Pissedcolas, Original Past Life and Skullcave. For purveyors of the Perth live music scene, it is not a show to be missed.