Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Review: Fourward - Episodes

Fourward Episodes
I've no idea where this came from or why I've listened to it, but Fourward's album Episodes turns out to be a pretty enjoyable slice of neurofunk. Pop neurofunk, I'd call it, if such a thing could possibly exist. Drum 'n bass, and dubstep, and a lot of bass music generally, seems to increasingly segregate its hooks from its dancefloor action, which often leads to that disappointing feeling when a track that sounds so awesome in the breakdown turns into the robotic madness of a rabid Optimus Prime once the FILTHY BASS DROP kicks in. Fourward are far from above deploying that cliché - in fact, they use it pretty damn often on Episodes, but for some reason it doesn't bother me too much on here. For some reason, I find this album endearing.

Neurofunk is a pretty tough genre to love, because it's basically apocalyptic male rage embodied in one music genre, and yet, terrifyingly, I seem to be getting into it. There's even a moment of monstrous wobble-stupid brostep on here in the form of Temptations, and I even quite like that track. And right now I'm damned if I can explain why. I guess this is just a rare neurofunk record that actually sounds fun, and the poppy interludes and breaks are all really well done. Just witness the hip-hop break in the midst of Simple - genius!

In many ways, drum 'n bass seems to be one of the most isolated of electronic genres. Sure, thanks to Pendulum and Chase & Status a lot of kids are listening to the popped up stuff, but serious electronic fans still seem to ignore drum 'n bass more than any other area. People are scared of it, they can't handle it. Episodes is packed full of drum 'n bass stereotypes which will turn a lot of people cold straight away. Hell, I still can't figure out why I'm not annoyed by this album. But that right there is one of the great things about music, and art - you can rationalise it as much as you like, but sometimes it just appeals or appalls you on some gut level. And I like this album. Deal with it, people.

Genre: Drum 'n bass
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 8/10

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