Stafford's own Flesh Eating Foundation are arguably the best live act on the underground industrial scene in the UK right now. Their show blends true showmanship and loads of fake blood with some razor sharp beats, searing guitars and well crafted, ear-piercing rhythms.
This crazed (and ever so sharply dressed) three-piece features Jon E. Smoke (guitars and programming), The Juddaman (programming, lead vocals) and Davros on synths and samples. Their diverse and distortion-fed sound finds itself somewhere between Skinny Puppy, The Prodigy and Babyland if the members were in a fight to the death...against hundreds of zombies...somewhere near Birmingham.
I would like to contend in this 'ere blog that FEF are unwittingly creating a legacy for themselves. Indeed, they already are one of our country's most exciting, relevant and accessible dark electronic bands and they carry great influence over some of the most vibrant new acts on the scene right across the alternative board from York techno-punks Digicore to Manchester's EBM (electronic body music) standouts The Ladder. Indeed, this lot will remind you of zombies, not just because of their ghoulish stage attire (which gets progressively messier as their set goes on), but simply because they just keep on going, and going while their thirst to provoke, entertain and rock the hell out remains most admirable.
Despite the music's obvious lean towards the darker and more skewered parts of the musical spectrum thematically and sonically, it's interesting to look back at the roots of the group. The two core members Smoke and Juddaman met in school, became friends and formed a strong bond. In 1999 they released their first demos into the world and climbed the grimey, slippery alt-scene stairs until the release of their acclaimed first album, 'Seethe' in 2007 via the notable UK industrial outlet RebCo Records.
The Foundation released their most recent album 'Purging' earlier this year. One standout track from this offering is the scathing and dangerously addictive anti-anthem 'Godless' – it's pure hard-hitting industrial that blows the socks off of Throbbing Gristle and would undoubtedly leave Al Jourgensen (Ministry) quaking in his big black boots. To put it simply for you, this music is what a legion of daleks could sound like if you gave them each a heart, a shirt, a tie, some golden syrup and a guitar. While aggression is unquestionably at the forefront of the Flesh Eating sound, there are also much more personal tunes to discuss, for example the digi-punk defiance embedded within the song 'Victims' reflects on the death of Sophie Lancaster while the experimental and evocative nature of 'Septic' bruises with all the angst, atmosphere and determination of early Atari Teenage Riot while also showcasing this band's passion and diversity with some particularly haunting vocals, old-school electronics and cascading guitar work.
It is true that this act have always had an innovative approach to both recording and the live process and their abrasive mix of coldwave soundscapes (taking influence from 80s pop, drum and bass and digital hardcore), alongside the raw acoustic beats and heart-stomping riffage sounds just as meaty out live as it does on record.
Speaking of which, in 2010 the band will develop their sound and concept even further with the download only release of their third album, 'Dead Shall Rise' which is expected to see the band take a more experimental approach to writing than before – meaning that they will probably be making noise with anything and everything available. The threesome also have numerous remix projects on the go and are planning a typically gruesome-yet-effective idea that will see them promote a zombie walk around Staffordshire to raise money for charities around the area.
To conclude, for over a decade, the Flesh Eating Foundation have composed some seriously tasty industrial-punk created with the sole intention to melt the brains of cyber-kids, confuse hardcore metallers and astound traditional alternative dance fans. This really is music to inspire our zombified alternative generation and the freakscene – seriously, offer up your brains with abandon the next time these lads are in your town and don't be afraid, it's just a little blood.
For more information visit the official MySpace.