By Conor Hooley
“This whole f***ing song is nonsense.”
The line comes less than three minutes into the album, and it’s a fairly good mission statement for what comes after. Left Foot Green’s aptly titled Fun With Vengeance is straightforward, searing, entirely unsubtle punk rock. For better or worse.
The group mows through their new seven-song CD at a furious pace, with lead singer Justin Hamed driving the action and guitarist Brad Jones acquitting himself fairly well. The band’s overall sound has a raw, crunching feel, yet there’s just enough melody in the mix to be catchy. Commendably, they’re able to do so without ever straying toward the saccharine pratfalls of, for lack of a better term, pop punk.
There’s ample comedy on songs like “Shit and Rats,” which contains an array of wryly juvenile quotables, such as “Set those traps, when you’ve got the skill to get them on their backs.” Sure, those kinds of lyrics aren’t going to land Harned poet laureate status. But compared to songs like “Inbox” and “Smash,” they’re Shakespearean.
Toward the album’s end, there’s an unshakable sense that the band is probably more impressed with its caustic sensibilities than the average listener will be. By the time their lazy cover of ‘80s standard “Take On Me” starts playing, there’s little doubt.
Fun With Vengeance is a mixed bag, but easy enough to sort through. Left Foot Green’s solid musicianship trumps the album’s overall lack of substance, but doesn’t disguise it. It’s an album that shows “nonsense” doesn’t necessarily mean “garbage”… but it still means “nonsense.”
By Conor Hooley