ALBUM REVIEW: Foul Taste lives up to name on fast, frenzied debut

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First Posted: 3/31/2014

Though it boasts nine tracks, Wilkes-Barre band Foul Taste’s self-titled debut only clocks in at about 20 minutes. Several cuts don’t even make it past the one-minute mark. That, along with the undeniably fitting band name, should tell you everything you need to know about these caustic punk headbangers.

If that’s not enough, though, album opener “Green Cat,” should do the trick. This chaotic temper tantrum of feedback, crashing cymbals, and drunken riffage makes it clear you’re in for something dirty, ugly and, most of all, tough.

You can tell these guys hail from coal country.

The meat and potatoes here is ‘80s-style hardcore à la Black Flag and Die Kreuzen. And just like those bands did during the “crossover” era, Foul Taste flirts with metallic thrashiness, as if its crude kamikaze wailing wasn’t breakneck enough. Adding another layer, Foul Taste also integrates an oppressive doom metal influence into its mix.

On tracks like “Haterade” and “Our Last Bottle,” the guitars alternate between fast ‘n’ scratchy and slow ‘n’ sludgy. Likewise, the drums occasionally depart from the driving, shimmering frenzy in favor or a more imposing, almost tribal vibe. The oily groove of the bass, most evident in the opening moments of “Booze Cruise,” imbues Foul Taste’s sound with a bottom-heavy bluster that makes the band’s doom leanings feel appropriately ominous.

Granted, the production for this basement-recorded EP (available online via the group’s Bandcamp page) is not a pretty thing, but neither is Foul Taste’s music. Actively dumb, tongue-in-cheek song titles such as “Sack Blabbath” and “Mustache Ride” let you know that the members of Foul Taste don’t take themselves too seriously, so you probably shouldn’t either.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down, or else you might end up a few teeth short. This is music meant for the mosh pit. It’s rough, black, and incendiary as coal.

Foul Taste ‘Foul Taste’ Rating: W W W