Song of the Day

Jodie Faster, “Did Not Vote,” from Blame Yourself (Dirty Guys Rock, 2020)

Photo: Franck Claeyssen

Keeping alit the monikered torch first sparked by '80s legends JFA, the band du jour brings a heat comparable to that of the first wave legends. The Blatant Localism of the SoCal skate rats in Jodie Foster’s Army is inverted here, as Jodie Faster hail from Lille, France; worlds away from the persistent sun and surf of the coast that helped birth the sound of early USHC.

January 2020 saw them release a full-length LP in the form of Blame Yourself, a superlative collaboration between a ton of labels. While there’s certainly a large debt owed to Nardcore and the like, they incorporate clean and jangly guitars that might, at first blush, feel indebted to the lighter end of the Deranged Records discography or Gorilla Angreb/No Hope for the Kids as it does college rock. Yet, for every bit of distortion leached from their sound, they operate at increasingly blinding speed. The effect is thrilling and ultimately feels like the Minutemen playing “four on the floor” hardcore punk. 

Across the course of 17 tracks, they play a highly caffeinated and hyper alert brand of snotty hardcore. Though I’d love to highlight the table-setting opener “Still Not Loving Police” because I’m convinced it’s a nod to Dr. Dre’s mega-huge comeback “Still D.R.E.” Homage or not, I certainly still fuck with the beat. 

Where Jodie Faster best capture their sound is, for me, most certainly on the Song of the Day “Did Not Vote.” The lyrics land on the right side of vague punk sloganeering and inspired specificity, the voter apathy they brazenly boast is decidedly universal.

It’s a welcome blast of venom that sneers menacingly instead of planting its tongue squarely in its cheek. Inasmuch as it mines nihilistic themes a la the majority of their other tracks, there’s a faint optimism on the back half of the song that’s matched by increasingly frenetic tempos. It seems as much an ode to rebirth as it is a resigned breath.

The vocals are absolutely frenzied and immediate and the drum fills and occasional blast beats are bonkers. I’m forever a sucker for lines like “time as come”  repeated like the smash of hammered nails. Highlighted by acrobatic bass runs that seem inspired by Matt Freeman’s fret-defying talents, Jodie Faster are a tight band and serious proposition. Though Hinckley’s attack on “Fucked Up” Ronnie never coaxed the, uhhh, actual Jodie Foster to a hardcore show, perhaps this French crew will. 

As a side note, they cover their contemporaries in Youth Avoiders, another ripping unit No Echo previously featured. If you’ve made it this far down the page, put that energy out into the hardcore punk world. It’d be rad if more current bands covered each other. Should you find yourself in their orbit, be sure to catch ‘em. 

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Tagged: jodie faster

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