human

Folly Group – Human and Kind (Ninja Tune)

If Stanley Kubrick was alive and well and made ‘A Clockwork Orange’ today (after all this dystopian Hell-hole is worse than the dark twisted world he invented for The Droogs back in the seventies), then Folly Group would be the house band at the Milk Bar. Which is obviously a great thing. Because it feels – and has felt for a few years now – that Folly Group are operating in a parallel universe to us, poking their heads through the portal to present their latest project. The artwork for the EP suggests a doorway through the centre of a spider’s web.

The following quote from the band’s Sean Harper about London “This place is toxic, awful people are everywhere, literally everything feels like a competition, the endless demands the cost of living in this city imposes upon me are making me a more stressed out, confused, paranoid, depressed person. Why do I love it here?” sounds like a potential line straight from the script of an Orange reboot, with the first single ‘I Raise You (The Price of Your Head)’ the song Alex sings as he attacks the writer in his own home.

This is not to say the band condone this kind of thing but its music lends itself to a hyper-reality that is slightly distorted compared to the real world in so much that not many other bands are fusing styles and sounds like Folly Group. There is a template that is being adhered to far too readily and it can bore to tears. A Folly Group live show is high octane and vibrant and the unexpected is expected.

This is their second EP in the space of 12 months, with Alive and Hungry coming out last June, highlighting how ridiculously prolific they are. Human and Kind does appear to be a companion record as if both EPs could be one LP, sides one and two. The guitars seem even more angular and angry, the experimental side has gone up a notch but the frustrated songwriting is still there, like a gang of angry Droogs.

Faint of Hearts’ introduces everything with a sense of dread, of impending doom. It’s incredibly cinematic with its breakdowns of synth that mimic a harmonic voice, into the chorus with arguing, duelling vocals.

‘Raise You’ is the bullying chant of the droogs, baiting and bashing, as they surround their victim, taunting and harrying. There is no escape, as the percussion and drums crescendo into a berating peak.

‘Pay the Rise’ dials the intensity down a few notches, and perhaps loses the momentum a touch, possibly the calm before the storm as it even seems quieter.

‘The Tooth of February’ descends into a deranged chase, Alex is on the run. Naturally, it is agitated and paranoid but it disappears down a black hole of eerie, echoey percussion and electronic coda before it explodes back into life and hurtles back down the hill like a joyriding car of chaos. ‘Human and Kind’ is minimalist but foreboding. Feels like a premonition of where we are going as a species. Synthetic drums and samples skit around like flies around a dead body.

Folly Group continue to prove that they are streets ahead of some of their contemporaries, riding that stolen car, smashing inferior versions out of their way. The most exciting thing is you don’t know what they’re going to do next. For a folly, they seem deadly serious.

 

 

 

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.