Saturday, 6 January 2018

Album Review: Settling For Survival by Foxtrot (by Emma Prew)

Foxtrot are a four piece punk rock band from Melbourne, Australia. Their 2016 album Habitats was a huge hit with us here at CPRW so when the band released a new 3 track EP in October 2017 we were more than happy to give it a spin. Released on Jackknife Music, Settling For Survival is three songs based around one central theme with each ‘part’ telling a section of the overall story.

Part I – Killing The Minutes opens the EP and for about 30 seconds has the listener thinking that this is going to be a fairly slow paced track. Of course, the pace picks up and we are treated to some classic melodic Aussie punk rock. Killing The Minutes is about missing people that you were once very close to and knowing that you can try to stay in touch but it is often easier said than done. We’ve all been there. I found the lines ‘We drift about, our paths cross where they do, I wish they’d cross a little more often to tell you the truth.’ particularly poignant. Then before you can blink, we’ve shifted into Part II – Old Familiar Strange. In fact, the first couple of times I listened to this in preparation for reviewing I didn’t notice that the first song had ended and the second had begun – I guess that’s part of the nature of this three part EP. I should have known from the opening lines of Part II really, ‘And before you even knew another year passed, And you're still staring at that same half empty glass.’ Continuing the themes of getting through life, losing touch with certain people and the changes that should/could be made to avoid this, Old Familiar Strange feels like the more positive of the first two parts. This song is about the sort of friendship where you don’t have to speak to the person all the time but you know that if you ever need them, they will be there for you – and vice versa. This is a great uplifting head nodder of a tune with some fine guitar riffage. While the final chord of Old Familiar Strange is still ringing, a second more melancholic guitar melody opens up the third and final track, Part III – Settling For Survival. This is certainly slower paced than the previous parts but I think that simply does a fine job of allowing the listener to reflect on the EP’s themes so far. At four and a half minutes long, this song is actually predominantly instrumental with only a single verse at the start of the song. It is incredibly atmospheric and the last couple of lines stay in your mind while the rest of the song plays out. ‘Ha, the fucking meaning of life? We're simply born to live and die, Choose whatever meaning you like, I'm worried all this life is just settling for survival.’

Settling For Survival is not your average three track EP but when has that ever been a bad thing in punk rock? Check it out!

Download and stream Settling For Survival on Bandcamp and be sure to give Foxtrot a like on Facebook as well.

This album review was written by Emma Prew.