I’ve always had a weird love of bands that don’t really bother singing all the time - and by that I don't mean acts that make instrumentals (although I like those as well). From 80’s indie post-punk troopers such as The Blue Aeroplanes to the electronic pop of West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys to more recent examples like shouty south Londoners Shame, and odd-ball pop types The Rhythm Method there’s something that appeals. Part of the attraction for me is that often the lyrics of such artists are easier to make out than those that sing. Somehow the enunciation of words often seems to get lost when melodies are involved. I remember a singer of one particular group telling me once that she was a bit disappointed that nobody ever wrote about the lyrics of her songs, to which the simple answer was: ‘That’s because no one can understand a blood word you’re uttering.’
Which brings me to relative newcomers Feet. George (known as Jeep), Oli, Harry, Callum and Joe formed Feet at the not exactly prestigious Coventry University (never mind lads – Coventry is the UK City of Culture in 2021 and The Specials hailed from there so it can’t be that bad) and released their debut 7” double sided single Petty Thieving / Macho Macho on Felix White’s (of The Maccabees) YALA Records.
With its squirming guitar, opening spoken words of “Yeah you, what’s the attraction?” and big riffing shouted hook of “But I can’t meet your standards every single f*ckin’ day - petty thieving!” it’s a welcome blast to the ears that manages to deliver both a frenetic and slacker energy in it's three and quarter minutes. There’s a pretty entertaining YALA Session online (here) as well featuring the band playing the song in kimonos and sunglasses which is worth a look.
Now Feet have followed this up with a new song Back Seat Driver which features an animated video made by Jeep of the group. “Jeep studies animation and illustration at uni so it’s a two birds one stoner job” state the band. “The animation connects to the lyrics and pays homage to our guitarist Callum's problematic road rage, which is as hilarious as it is terrifying”. So that Coventry education is paying dividends then. With meandering guitars and a half-sung half-spoken vocal delivery Back Seat Driver finds Jeep getting a little deep. “It’s not a pursuit of death it’s a pursuit of life,” he proclaims shortly before the song explodes hard. I predict frenzied moshpits towards the end of this one.
Feet will be out on the road this summer playing a whole host of festivals starting at Brighton’s Great Escape in May. Steal a ticket to see them if you can.
Feet - Back Seat Driver
Feet - Petty Thieving