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Music Review: Fosterchild – Independence Day

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Fosterchild? Are we that hard up for interesting band names? I’m sorry, but I don’t care for the band name, and, for that matter, the album title Independence Day ain’t all that special either. Two strikes against the band, and I hadn’t even hit play yet. OK, well, after getting over my dislike of the uninteresting and generic names they had chosen to slap on an otherwise good looking cover, I put the disk in and started it up. I was surprised to discover that behind the bland name was a band that flat out rocks. Color me pleasantly surprised.

The sound is equal parts 80’s rock, 90’s grunge, and straight up rock. Fosterchild takes elements of the genres that fueled two past eras of rock music and fused them with modern sensibilities that are flavored with southern rock and a dose of attitude. The production is scaled back giving the songs a raw immediacy that is very endearing. I was surprised by how quickly I took to them.

The band was formed by former Fuel drummer Kevin Miller and former Octane guitarist Brian Quinn. I have to admit that I am not familiar with Octane, but I liked some of the stuff that Fuel put out, and liked them even more live, where their sound got heavier and much rawer. Fosterchild s clearly influenced by Miller’s time with Fuel, I recognize the energy. Joining those two are bassist Erik Leonhardt and vocalist Danny Beissel. Beissel has a wonderful voice that has a great clear raspiness too it that reminds me of many 80’s bands that I liked, while not feeling like an 80’s voice. Does that even make sense? Probably not, but when you hear it, you will know what I’m talking about.

Do they forge any new ground? Not really, but they don’t have to. The band is just all about the rock. Forget about the rockstar image or the pretensions, one listen to the music and you won’t be thinking about the style, you’ll want to see them playing the local bar, where they provide the soundtrack to a night of beers.

Independence Day opens with the rocker “Let Me Down,” and is the perfect example of what you are in for. Crunchy riffs, driving drums, and in your face vocals are the order of the day. It is a great cut to lead off an album with; it gets the blood pumping and your head rocking while you try to nail down where you may have heard this before. Moving through the first few tracks, I kept trying to figure out just who they reminded me of, but I couldn’t quite place it. I finally gave up, content with the dirty, grunge, bluesy rock that was so inviting.

Bottomline. This is an album you can put on, turn up, and rock out to. They have a good sound that I can only imagine is amped up live. Danny’s got a great voice, and the band has a good amount of crunch to get behind. If you are a fan of old school rock and roll, this is one you are going to want to check out. Give them a listen on Myspace.


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