Living in the UK and being amazed by the desperate machinations of our current Con-Dem government I was immediately drawn to find out more about a band called Feral Conservatives. I have to admit that what I discovered didn’t quite match my initial expectations; but I certainly wasn’t disappointed and am glad that the name caught my eye and caused me to click further! I had expected something dark, angry and punky with lots of ‘gnashing’ teeth melded with thrashing, discordant, feedback ridden electric guitars! Whilst there are definitely some hints of anger and discord, what is offered in this album is a very different beast indeed. Feral Conservatives are a multi-instrumentalist duo, Rashie and Matt, who describe themselves as playing mandolin-based indie rock with an aggressive edge and a soft bottom (although neither of them will admit to having the soft bottom).
Somebody once told me that the use of a ukelele would automatically bring a smile to her audience’s faces – the prominence given to the mandolin by Feral Conservatives adds an equally positive enhancement to this album. The selection of songs is intriguing and provides ample opportunity for Rashie and Matt to demonstrate their diverse talents. ‘Control’ is a great opening track that grabs attention – dropping the mandolin, ‘Golden Coast’ follows nicely on whilst the next tracks in sequence move pleasingly towards my latest ‘track of the month’, the delightful ‘Haven’t Given Up’. I do love the vibe of ‘Can’t Do This’, but there is a crucial aspect of the lyric that means I will have to avoid playing it on radio – sometimes ‘radio edits’ can work but I fear such treatment would be a step too far and would crucially spoil this song.
Rashie and Matt must be commended for producing an excitingly diverse album that suggests much more is to follow – I eagerly await future developments, but in the meantime will continue to revisit and immerse myself in this wonderful offering.
Rashie Rosenfarb – vocals, mandolin, piano, bass
Matt Francis – drums & percussion, guitar, organ
2/ Golden Coast
3/ Brighter Dawn
4/ Friends Bail Always
5/ Recycled Parts
6/ Haven’t Given Up
7/ Can’t Do This