Font – Strange Burden

A taut, finessed debut...

Austin rock quintet Font have steadily been making waves, supporting Yard Act on their run of US shows and previously opening for bar italia. While they’ve been building a steady live presence, the group now releases their debut album ‘Strange Burden’. Starting out from their own DIY arts space, their sound has a raw/kinetic vibe. At 30 minutes there is rarely a wasted moment. 

Opener ‘The Garden Calf’ has an electronic soundscape to begin with built around synths before Thom Waddil’s vocals creep in, vying with the synths for attention. It impressively builds into a chaotic final segment, easy to picture it constructed chaos in a live setting. The blend of electronic rock is easy to compare to LCD Soundsystem and others but there is a freshness and swagger to it that is endearing. 

‘Hey Kekulé’ is instantly captivating the drumbeats and electronic sound recalling early Talking Heads. It’s got a real groove to it, easy to see going down well at an indie disco. It may not be completely rewriting the script but it’s easy to be swept along by its charm and beats. ‘Looking At Engines’ meanwhile feels more like 00s garage rock screaming vocals, jostling with more tuneful guitars. It is an experimental track that conveys the group’s range of influences and at times feels like several tracks in one, as with other tracks on the album there is a lot crammed into a relatively short time and it’ll reward multiple listens to explore the range of textures. What is clear is this is a group of talented musicians capable of tapping into multiple genres. It is almost an electronic punk track, with a ferocious energy to it that never lets up.

Font on their debut LP have proven themselves ones to watch, sure to go down well with fans of LCD Soundsystem, Foals and black country, new road. There is plenty of improvisation and experimentation that feels far beyond a band’s debut LP. The diverging styles can at times be overbearing but there is a sense of freshness and bold shifts that is hard not to appreciate and it will be interesting to see how their style evolves. 

7/10

Words: Christopher Connor

-
Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.