by Walter Price
One of the most solid alt outfits producing music today, Feral Conservatives have released a new full-length Here’s to Almost via Egghunt. There are familiar favorites throughout and it’s good to see were this band is now. Evolving and they may utilize what their alt forefathers introduced but FC are a standalone outfit.
I never really single out a particular track when an album is this brillant but I have here. Their track “Little Pieces” is what I consider their signature song. It’s a track that signifies the directions the band would end-up today. Sure, the band tweaks and expands its foundation but this track in particular says so much about how the world should be introduced to their work. It is, in my mind, a masterpiece.
In no way would I take away from the other gems here on the new one as I think the entire album is near perfect. The track list order is the best they’ve done. Cohesive and building throughout. This is one of those albums that can and should be played in any situation, a memory builder if you will. Right on Feral Conservatives, Here’s to Almost is certainly an instant alt-rock classic.
Round The Corner
Rashie: Round the Corner encapsulates our restlessness to escape and get out on the road. My favorite part of this song is how the bass line caries it through. It’s got this great bouncy groove. I remember it being really fun to record the vocals on this track in the studio. I played around with lots of different “aw’s” and little harmonies letting them all swirl together. The worst part was I get really sick during the process of this record and lost my voice so we had to be careful and wait a long time to record vocals and it was hard because I was ready to go but couldn’t sing.
Matt: I actually wrote this song the day we got back from recording our first LP (2012’s Breaks and Mends) and I think it was informed by that depression that comes after finishing something you’ve looked forward to for so long. I wanted it to be our “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or “Unsatisfied” by the Replacements but turning it on its head. Those opening strums were suppose to be Springsteen-esque, but I don’t think there’s anything left of him on the recording.
Rashie: This song gets compared to The Sundays a lot and I was listening to them all the time when I wrote this. Iv’e struggled with depression on and off throughout my life and I wrote this when I was just barley hanging on. it was hard to get out of bed. On the flip side I was in a relationship with someone and in love. So the song is about that twisted inner struggle and how it effects you and the other person. It can become something that engulfs both lives in a relationship.
Matt: For me, this song really clicked when Dan helped write the intro, but the whole idea of the song was this swirling chaos, like an upset stomach. Thematically, it’s about leaving a church after two betrayals — one from the pastor and another from a friend. You have this broken trust between people, but how does that relate to your trust with God when one of those persons is your appointed teacher, shepherd, liaison if you will? A lot of the feedback was achieved by a First Act, $100 Wal-Mart guitar through a bevy of pedals, mainly the Big Muff.
Rashie: My little sister and I are close and about two years ago she moved all the way out to Australia. So this song is about missing her and the frustration and sort of sadness that comes from being so far away from someone you love. There are times when we really wish the other one was there to experience a moment or event that is happening. My sister plays violin (she’s actually plays on track 7, ‘Little Pieces’) and so we had a violinist come and play a melody that kind of harmonized with my vocal part to represent her.
Matt: This is what happens when a write a song while drinking a bottle of whiskey and watching a Paul Westerberg documentary. My dad called me part way through — I think to tell me my uncle died — so I worked that into bridge (thanks dad!). I knew it was simple and not even deceptively so — kind of our take on blues. It was fun to incorporate some genre tropes and shifts in dynamics and even time signatures.
Rashie: I grew up in a religious family and as you get older you start to questions things like God and religion. During the time I wrote this, I was in a difficult emotional state and so the song touches on God’s existence, and if so, how involved is he really in the day to day of our lives. Does he answer prayers or are we on our own down here while he just watches tragedy happen to us? And just the fear of crying out for help and getting no answer. There’s a helplessness that comes from asking these answerable questions.
Matt: At the time, I didn’t feel like we had any songs with riffs so this was my attempt to remedy that–trying to write something memorable we could all sink into. A loser anthem. My anthem. I framed it through the lens of a class reunion, this idea that we’re constantly looking over our shoulders to see where we rank; like which definition of success did I achieve? I am somewhere in the top half? The top 30%? You can see where my insecurities lie.
Matt: The titular Logan was a student I mentored when he was a freshman-sophomore. It was pretty striking how the education system here in America had failed him…at 14, 15, he was so resigned to his fate as this branded failure, a “D” student, someone whose inability to take tests — possibly an diagnosed learning disability — told him he would never amount to anything. I actually went back and took some lines from my own high school song notebook. I really wanted to channel that specific sense of despair because, even though I could take tests reasonably well (and yes, I’m reducing the American education system to regurgitating facts — memorization) I wanted to address that sense of failure, but on a more universal level. This may be our most political/attack-the-system song, so of course our sound of protest veered towards bratty punk.
Rashie: This was one of those songs that just came to me all at once. Within about ten minutes I’d written it down. Sometimes a song just pours out like it was always there waiting to be known. We wanted to go really stripped down and simple with this one and so you’ll notice there’s no harmonies or extras on it. We were going for something that sounds like the bands playing live.
Wait for Me
Rashie: I wrote this song when I was listening to a lot of Lucero. This is what came out when I attempted to write something soulful and country like them. ‘Wait For Me’ delves into growing up with this unrealistic idea of what love is supposed to look like presented by movies and TV, and realizing that its actually flawed and then navigating yourself through that.