The Very Foundation: This Restless Empire
“Only teeth break. Only earth shakes.”
Michael Lewis and Bevan put out a great release with The Very Foundation's This Restless Empire featuring Kristie Rethlefsen, members of The Decemberists, Blind Pilot, Oh Darling, and all the members of Blue Skies For Black Hearts.
Dynamically, this is such a great album; driving and percussive. The opening track, “My Sweetest Defeat” feels like driving through the streets listening to My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult circa “Hit and Run Holiday”. The horns and general atmosphere of good feeling comes across darker lyrics sarcastically. The Very Foundation uses true trumpets instead of synthesizers which always sounds better live.
“Better Get Off”, a bass-heavy hit, combines stoic, deep vocals and gothic lyrics reminiscent of what Nick Cave might have done had he teamed up with Leonard Cohen, took some anti-depressants and listened to big band music. One of the first songs to hone in on the dynamics of This Restless Empire, “Feel Anything”, sounds off with an acoustic strum joined by a hi-hat. Vocals followed by full band burst in for a climactic chorus to the words, “fuck yourself to get through, just to feel anything”. The music cuts in and out perfectly. The pre-chorus is quietly sung over a simple bass line and hi-hat, but by the time, “alone with your attic view”, is heard the rim shot on the snare clicks like a metronome and releases into “just to feel anything”.
Harmonies like those found between Lewis' lows and Rethlefsen's highs soothe over swelling strings which lifting their mixed melodies in the track, “This Is What We're Asking For”. Again, simple samples of storms and percussion create an atmosphere to pay close attention to the dynamics of song.
Many of the tracks start quietly like “My Angel, One Last Time” and build into moving pieces with targeted chorus filled with lines like, “spread your legs my angel, one last time” and “I won't tell your boyfriend, oh yeah right”. Most of the songs have a recurring theme of sexuality; unashamed and brutally honest. The ideas streaming through songs titled, “Better Get Off”, “Pornography” and “Silk and Stilettos” take the listener by the imagination and ride him into submission with a healthy groove.
The Very Foundation put a great feeling into dark and sexual themes. Check it out at: http://www.myspace.com/theveryfoundation