Do you like Bomb The Music Industry!, Gogol Bordello or Andrew Jackson Jihad? Or even The Misfits? Any, all, or one of the above? Then what the hell are you waiting for? Immediately click on this link, and go download the new free EP from Feudalism. If you answered “none of the above” (which wasn’t an option, by the way), I’d recommend checking the group out anyway.
Feudalism is a band from New Jersey that combines the emo-punk lyricism of their home state’s hardcore heroes The Misfits, the gypsy-punk swing of Gogol Bordello, the brassy-punk of BTMI! and the folk-punk of AJJ (although they don’t sound quite like any of those bands… especially not The Misfits). Add the suffix “-punk” to any of those genres— gypsy, hardcore, folk, “brassy” (I guess, even though I just made that one up)— and you’ll get an idea of how Feudalism sounds. Or you could just click this link (yes, the same that I already told you to click) and find out for yourself.
The EP is entitled Form/Function, and it features four of the strongest punk songs that I’ve heard in a while. The band possesses the rare quality of being sloppily emotional (lyrically, and in the way they scream those lyrics) while remaining tight and composed. It’s always amazing when bands can rapidly switch tempos and styles. Feudalism does so with grace. Loud, sloppy grace.
The album begins with “The Yellow Teeth Suite,” a song that features lyrics like “When I drink / I don’t feel happier / I get depressed and angry.” With it’s acoustic guitar plucking, accordion and accompanying horn section, however, those words almost sound fun. That type of paradoxical feeling is what ska-punk bands since Operation Ivy have been attempting to master, and Feudalism does it better than most (although in a drastically different style than bands that utilize the more straightforward, ska-then-punk-then-ska songs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that).
The remaining three songs achieve a similar sound. Feudalism’s 2011 album Consonance/Dissonance is currently available on Earbits (I was introduced to the band through a stream of the awesome song “Venture Capitalist). You can listen to that track via this link (yes, another link). Enjoy.