FEET – ‘What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham’ review: much better than the terrible title implies

Score

The Coventry rabble-rousers are all over the shop, veering from serrated post-punk to winsome indie (and back again). Buckle up – you're in for a bumpy ride

No! Wait! Come back! Yes, this album is called ‘What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham’ (no, we don’t know what that means either and, well, who cares?). And – yes – it is by a band with the name FEET. But if you dare stick out your nose for a curious whiff, you might be pleasantly surprised: this may well be one of the most intriguing British indie albums of the year.

FEET, then, are a bunch of lads who met in Coventry. And they’re all over the shop. Some time ago, they dropped a killer debut single ‘Petty Thieving’, which bristled with post-punk energy and garage-rock stylings. They followed this up the winsome indie B-side ‘Macho Macho’, before keeping things on the low for a couple years. They spent that time figuring out what they were all about, got a new drummer and decamped to a local farmer’s barn, then to a retirement village to start jamming and writing their debut album. It’s a fittingly eccentric back story for a band who aren’t afraid to exercise the weirdest corners of your brain, and have a laugh while doing so.

There’s ‘Ad Blue’, a groover in the vein of Yello’s ‘Oh Yeah’, which makes more sense if you down a gallon of the titular car fluid, as does the the album’s wonky title track, on which the band sing of being “a hot dog in a hot bun world”. When they play it straight. there are hints of Blur’s ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ in both the sound and observations. ‘English Weather’s sarky jab at the “suncream police” who feign interest in this isle’s climate is pure Albarn-eyeroll. There are hints of Blur’s frantic ‘Advert’ and ‘Chemical World’ on the untamed ‘Outer Rim’, while the new, beefy version of ‘Petty Thieving’ taps into millennial anxiety in the manner of Squid’s ‘Houseplants’.

This peek into FEET’s trippy world is a often confounding, but on the whole this album is a giddy ride from a British band not afraid to push the boundaries of their own sanity – and, quite possibly, your own.

Details

Release Date: October 4, 2019
Record Label: Clapped Records