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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Belt

ALBUM REVIEW: Feral Family - Without Motion

Promising debut from Yorkshire rock band

If Grian Chatten’s excellent 2023 album, Chaos for the Fly, was a whimsical take on the harsh realities of living in a seaside town, then Without Motion is a grittier representation of this.

The debut album by Bridlington rock band, Feral Family, Daniel Wilson’s pulsing, jagged bass sets the template for 11 atmospheric tracks with frontman, Jamie Lowe, howling through his frustrations.

What it lacks in variety, Without Motion makes up for in its cohesion and gripping claustrophobia, providing enough diversions to avoid the album succumbing to middle-of-the-road territory.

That being said, the highlights nearly all sit within the first half of the album, with the latter half not quite as absorbing.

Originally released in 2022, opener ‘Cairo’ demonstrates the band’s calling card, with Wilson’s heavy, almost slapped bass joined by impressive guitar work and Lowe’s clear vocals – the lyrics addressing the disappointment of adulthood following youthful anticipation of growing up. ‘Deep Cuts’ then calls to mind Joy Division with its chugging guitar as Lowe narrates his pain at the end of a relationship. ‘This Side of Me’ then continues the same lyrical theme over a perky rhythm section and intriguing mood shifts in its soundscape.

‘Wee Van Bee’ dials down the pace with verses characterised by a cowbell tune and backing ‘waa-ahh’ harmonies before building to a chorus which forces Lowe to dig deep for his vocals to soar as he imagines a film character rocking up in Bridlington. Like ‘Wee Van Bee’, ‘Spice King’ is a concept song, with Lowe imagining himself locked up for being a drug dealer, the bleak inspiration for the song manifesting itself into an ominous, brooding soundtrack. Final track ‘Smother’ is the most absorbing song, with fuzzy guitars immediately propelling the listener into its world addressing the benefits of moving on without someone, and engagingly sees the instrumentalists take the track into different avenues.

The other five tracks on the album are all good, but excite less so. As far as debuts go, Without Motion is a strong opening statement from Feral Family, showcasing their command of their instruments in unison with Lowe’s committed vocal performance. While the lyrics don’t obviously come to the surface, the music and the LP’s unsettling atmosphere is the thing which will keep you coming back for more.

Rating: 7.6/10

Without Motion is out tomorrow (19 January) via Blush Response

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