Release Date: Feb 7, 2006
Genres: Rap-Rock, Rap-Metal, Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
Even with the flaws, Business Up Front/Part In The Back, Family Force debut has so many fun aspects to it that it deserves to be listened to more than once.
Business Up Front/Party In The Back
UG Team, on june 05, 2006 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: When a band is able to capture the energy, humor, and musical tastes of kids today, you can almost guarantee it will leave its indelible mark. Atlanta-based Family Force 5 will likely start a dance-rock-rap revolution with its debut CD Business up Front/Party in the Back, blending a variety of styles and sounds to create an enthusiastic and often times musically intriguing offering.
Led by vocalist/guitarist Solomon Soul Glow Activator Olds, who apparently is quite the breakdancer as well, Family Force 5 formed only two years ago and has since made a name for itself by gaining a cult following. The band consisting of drummer Jacob Crouton Olds, bassist Joshua Olds, Nathan Nadaddy Currin on keyboards/turntables, and Derek Chap Stique Mount on guitar, keep a steady stream of samples and danceable melodies through the debut CD -- almost making you feel like you're at a dance party at times.
In the opening track Cadillac Phunque, in which a Speak and Spell is a featured sample, listeners know they are in for an amusing treat. The band proves itself as a capable rock-rap outfit in the song, a lively and driving tune that serves as a good introduction to the band. You'll indeed get a little bit of that phunque splashed into most of the songs, with an order of humor on the side. It's hard to tell at first if the band really has fallen into a persona that thinks, a homeboy from the hood and like to spell my songs incorrectly to make it seem cool. Eventually it becomes apparent that the bandmates are out for a smile and does not take themselves too seriously -- and that can make all the difference.
Musically, the track Drama Queen has a few very memorable sections. Starting off with a charming chime-like keyboard intro, Drama Queen is then rapidly taken into an entire direction completely. It is transformed into quite a funky little tune, with the most memorable aspect being the falsetto line in the verse. That one vocal line will stick in your head and keep you bopping around for hours.
The guitars, though featured prominently on the record, take a backseat to the keyboard and vocals in Business Up Front/party In The Back. Most of the guitar parts are chords with distortion, adding a nice contrast to the dance feel highlighted in so many songs. But because the band's best songs are funky and dance-oriented, sampling and synthesized melodies really make or break the song. Keyboardist Currin's parts are just so infectious and unique that it's hard to compete, even with the raw power of distortion.
Kountry Gentleman is the first single released off of Business Up Front/party In The Back, and leaves you with a catchy melody that is enhanced by an impressive rap breakdown mid-song. Although it's evident that the band is just having a good time with everything, this song and others tend to feel like they are trying hard to be humorously hip. On the other hand, many people will eat this over-the-top approach, relishing in the references to mullets and Scott Stapp.
Make no mistake, it's the lighthearted songs that stand out as the best on the CD. In contrast, the chorus of Replace has an emo feel that just does not work for the band. The verse shows promise, taking on an '80s feel at times, but the chorus repeats enough that it can make you forget about the intriguing elements of the tune. // 9
Lyrics: Family Force 5 does make an effort to inject humorous pop culture references throughout the CD, and that is an admirable undertaking. To hear a lyric in a song that goes beyond the usual lovey-dovey ideas that usually saturate songs is a novel approach. In Kountry Gentleman Olds sings, throw my boombox on my shoulder as I feel the beats; Pumping Up The 'Footloose' by Kenny Loggins. The Loggins line is so out of left field that it keeps you curious as to what else might be mentioned in the record.
After listening to humorous tidbits like the Loggins line, the band often reverts to generic party lyrics. In Lose Urself the lyrics tend to make you cringe a bit. Please, oh please; Oh can't you see; That I got to get you baby; To lose yourself with me. To hear those lines after the standout line about Loggins is, simply put, a big disappointment. // 8
Overall Impression: With its humorous delivery and keyboard-heavy melodies, Family Force 5 personifies the word The musicians take the time to put interesting tidbits in each song, be it a Speak and Spell sample or a funky vocal line. The result is an enjoyable listen most of the time, and for the party lover out there, it is probably a thrill to listen to all the time.
Family Force 5 misses the mark a few times in the CD by straying from the funkiness and getting a bit too serious, but that does not occur too often on the record. Even with the flaws, Business Up Front/Part In The Back, Family Force debut has so many fun aspects to it that it deserves to be listened to more than once. And if you like to dance, well, you may just want to put it on your regular playlist next Saturday night. // 9
Business Up Front/Party In The Back
CaptainSBDA, on june 26, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is a mix of hip/hop, pop, rock, industrial, and "crunk" music. It all blends very well, and it gives FF5 one of the most innovative, dynamic, and original sounds out there. I can honestly say that there is no other band out there that sounds quite like FF5. Whether it's dance floor jams (Earthquake, Supersonic), hard, thrashy, loud rock (Love Addict), or a wholly original power ballad (Replace Me), FF5 brings a fresh new sound to the table. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are, as impossible as this is to say, even cheesier than the lyrics off of "Two Lefts Don't Make A Right, But Three Do" by Relient K. Whether it's about being a "Kountry Gentleman," teenage breakups in "Drama Queen," or shaking it like an "Earthquake," these lyrics aren't going to win any Grammys. But hey, the lyrics blend well with the music these guys play. It's like Joe Satriani's vocals on "Is There Love in Space?": they're OK with his style of music, but with any other type of music they would sound horrible. The lead vocalist of the band plays off the vocals well. // 9
Overall Impression: One of the flaws of modern Christian music is that most of it sounds the same. Except for older Christian bands like Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, etc, most modern bands all sound alike. 2006 proved this wrong with two releases: The Elms' "The Chess Hotel" and this CD here. No other Christian (Or mainstream) band sounds quite like this disc does. These guys bring fun, catchy music to a genre that seems to be monotonous. These guys have what appears to be a dynamite sound. Overall, this is a good album. Highly recommended. // 10