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"Hot New Trash"

FOE – Hot New Trash
05 April 2011, 12:00 Written by Phil Gwyn

Forget terrorism, Arabian revolutions or the internet poking its way into everybody’s lives, if the early 21st century can be summed up by one unfortunate cultural phenomenon, it’s the rise of the over-hyped, major-label conditioned, spectacularly average female artist. Within the 4 songs of Hot New Trash, FOE, (aka Fleet’s Hannah Clark) rips and tears apart with a quite terrifying degree of venom the media’s current obsession with the ‘next big thing’, and the culture of big money record deals that inevitably follow.

Considering that this is her first EP, it is a vocal-led tirade that is communicated particularly well, to mention nothing of the ever-fruitful relationship with the quite brilliant London producer Entrepreneurs. EP opener ‘Ape Song’ is a fittingly haunting and uneasy introduction. Musically, it’s far from the most fascinating breakthrough of the 21st century, but that’s far from the point; FOE is entirely consistent with her terrifying conviction of attention-seeking performers, and instead paints herself as an artist, keen to get her message across, and is completely successful in doing so. It’s a message summed up in the crunching guitars of lead single ‘Tyrant Song’, with the unsettling and controversial provocation of “Are you ready for the next big thing / are you ready for a clown in a G-string” contained by a typically enormous hook. This combination of horror, cynicism and pop hooks is one that FOE does exceptionally well, again and again.

There’s a very clear vision and message here that has been executed to perfection. Nevertheless, by its unsettling nature it is destined to be divisive. Without a doubt, though, those who appreciate the sneering observations of FOE will find it hard not to present her, ironically, as one of 2011’s brightest talents.

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