Folly Group: Down There! (digital outlets)

 |   |  1 min read

Big Ground
Folly Group: Down There! (digital outlets)

As we noted many years ago when discussing in great detail The Strokes when they emerged -- and being rather cynical in the face of seeming unanimous acclaim -- sometimes we need to be cautious about why we fall for certain artists.

As we observed, we suspected it was because the Strokes played right into the familiar for many older rock writers (rock'n'roll attitude, New York, swagger'n'sleaze, Velvet Underground elements etc), the very same factors which also appealed to those who weren't there at the time but wanted the rock'n'roll cachet this band carried on their narrows shoulder, hips and trousers.

The Strokes were good -- we'd argue that in recent times they got even better and more original -- but the same principle applies to a lot of new bands.

And to long-stayers as well: we unashamedly concede the reason we liked the most recent Rolling Stones' album Hackney Diamonds was because it sounded closer the classic Seventies/early Eighties Stones than anything they done in decades.

We didn't want to Stones -- after an absence of recording new material for 18 years -- to announce, "We hope you like our new direction".

So sometimes -- as with the recent Sundae Painters album -- we understand the appeal: it's not the shock of the new but the frisson of the familiar.

There is plenty of the familiar on this debut by Folly Group. 

Voices from the Eighties/Nineties underground inspire this intense London quartet whose album rides off strident percussion, skeletal guitars, electronica dance beats, rousing chants and that manic, focused post-punk energy familiar from the Pop Group, our Skeptics, the wound-up tautness of Television, Gang of Four and more recently Yard Act and Young Fathers.

However alongside the abrasive I'll Do What I Can (“no greater favour one can do than try to understand”), there's the measured speak-sing of Bright Night about the anxieties and alienation of London life, the otherworld electronica of Nestwide-screen gothic gloom on New Feature, the dubbed-up urgent story of Strange Neighbour and pop elements nailing down Freeze.

Folly Group have taken their mashed-up sound from East London clubs to Glastonbury.

Whether you like them for being the sum of the various parts or just as sound in its own right, this debut suggests they have further to go yet.

.

You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

Various Artists: Legendary Wild Rockers 3 (BBE)

Various Artists: Legendary Wild Rockers 3 (BBE)

After the previous, somewhat unhinged collection of late Fifties/early Sixties garage rockabilly and surf rock this one counts as something of a disappointment. Across 20 songs -- compiled by... > Read more

Vanishing Twin: Ookii Gekkou (Fire/digital outlets)

Vanishing Twin: Ookii Gekkou (Fire/digital outlets)

This multi-culti British outfit around Cathy Lucas impressed us with their previous album The Age of Immunology in 2019 (prescient title, huh?) It was lightlydelic simmer of influences from... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Krist Novoselic: Fast track to nowhere

Krist Novoselic: Fast track to nowhere

Some people just aren't that smart. At least that's what I thought about Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic when he tossed his bass high in the air at an MTV awards show and failed to catch it on its... > Read more

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON reports from the city in the headlines

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON reports from the city in the headlines

Yesterday began as a beautiful sunny day, with a cool and refreshing breeze. I caught up with friends back home in NZ, and in Denmark, and then headed off to lunch with my friend Sunila at... > Read more