Foreign Objects - No Sensation [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Foreign Objects

No Sensation [12-inch] (2011)

Vinyl Rites

Much has been written about Foreign Objects and I've yet to read anything that contains a negative view towards the band, nor hear anything they have released, which would offer up any ammunition for those wishing to knock them down. Therefore, expectations were high for this, their debut long-player, albeit one which plays at 45rpm and contains only eight tracks. Would they be able to maintain the momentum gained from previous releases and ensure that so many writers would not end up with egg on their faces from the praise previously heaped upon them?

Well, the answer is a resounding "yes." This record is not one of those which grabbed me from the get-go, more so because it takes repeated plays to appreciate everything that is going on within the songs, yet still manages to come across as very primal and basic. However, once I had played the album half a dozen times, I started to hear things that had almost gotten overlooked at first, including how everything fit together so well, and also the use of guitar parts which are not all choppy, edgy chords and certainly not histrionic solos. With a beefy bass working perfectly in tandem with the drums, the music is driven along at a good pace, allowing Melissa to display her prowess with six strings.

This is one of those albums where it's difficult to choose a standout track, and my choice changes with almost each play: Currently it is "Words of War", which features a battery attack of drums from Dan that reach a mighty crescendo at the end.

The final track, "Obliteration", moves away from the short, sharp shock approach and at just under four minutes is perhaps an exercise in restraint for the band, as it has a much more brooding post-punk vibe to it, with less chances/need for them to cut loose! Also, it contains a saxophone, which, although at odds to what the rest of the track is doing, somehow manages to not seem totally out of place.

For reference points, I'd suggest this has elements that remind me of the Avengers and also a bit of Auntie Christ (one of Exene Cervenka's many projects). The sound has a big West Coast late '70s/early '80s feel to it, yet like bands such as the Night Birds, Foreign Objects manage to achieve this without coming across as purely a nostalgia-tinged band. Add to that hints towards bands like Wire and Gang of Four in places, and the result is quite a varied effort.

One final thing to mention here is the artwork for the front and back cover of this release, which is some of the best I've seen in a few years. It was done by the band's bassist, Meghan, and looks as if it should be hanging on a wall and not just adorning the sleeve of a record.