FOES are expressly clear about their intent. Their all-caps name means enemies and the music is similarly oppressive.
“American Violence” is the title track of their new EP and brings to mind a couple of other “American” moshers: Great American Ghost and fellow Oregonians American Me. Like those bands, FOES can turn palm-muted chugs into genuine riffs.
A bass build-up atop police sirens is ominous, but guitar comes in for the same riffs and upends any omen; no, the impact is imminent. Blast beats, muted death metal riffing and anxiety-driving panic chords are all weapons in their arsenal. They’re particularly effective because their usage is short, sweet and surprising, seemingly coming out of nowhere.
The final breakdown is a punishing haymaker.
The video, meanwhile, delivers live performance footage from the hilariously-named “Denim Diaper Daddies Tour,” juxtaposed with visuals summing up the lyrical message. Vocalist Micah Berry explains.
“For me the lyrics are just a straight reflection of what I see happening daily in the US: poverty, abuse of power and ingrained justification of violence. I love that the video shows human unity despite the world being a mess. It’s our world, after all; only people can change what they hate to see in it.”
See what the American way is all about in the player below.
Pre-order American Violence on vinyl or digital formats via Glacier Recordings.