Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley
The muskiness that all basements are prone to, if left to their own devices, is dangerously fertile should the right groups of people be breathing in the mold and residue of water seeping through cracks in old foundations. It can brew up anything. Turn your cheek on the right combination of ingredients and soon enough, there will be furry legs and beady eyes and a growling belly to feed. All of the best rock and roll starts in one of these dank escapes, furnished with second and third-hand couches and La-Z-Boys, beneath a lingering aroma of stolen cigarette and pot smoke and a strong suspicion of marathon Funyun crunching and Mountain Dew/Miller High Life guzzling.
It's an inspiring potpourri that would drive a bloodhound mad with overload and it's in one of these hot spots that one wishes all the early KISS, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and Who songs were written, right off to the side of an iffy black and white television, a banged up Simon, a bean bag chair and a stack of Amazing Spider-Man comic books. Minneapolis three-piece Fog relies on this kind of time-honored laboratory for its trippy, musical ruminations about those outside the walls, those so quick to judge and so quick to point accusatory fingers at those deemed part of the loser-dom. The world's been spun raw in Andrew Broder's pensive and evaluating mind. The songs come from the safe confines of the basement, but they've got unspeakable textures to them that are more complex than simple garage rock. The music and the lyrics share a common denominator in that they don't gravitate toward hype or fumes, just slither along, prickly, politely loud, slinkily and with just the right amount of poisonous tart to them, taking all of the suspects to task for their many wrongs. This is where the swarms of ravens come squawking into the picture, winging above the heads of the cowering many who always carried with them the guilt.
There's a general feeling that all of this music on the band's latest album Ditherer was written below ground, where there is little natural light just because there are so few openings available to let said light into the room. It's music that taps into the scary tranquility that isn't chosen, but more of a plague. It finds you and then covers you like a sticky tar. You stay away from flames cause that could mean the end of you as we know it. There are countless feelings of unwanted attacks and affronts throughout the whole of the record that gives it both the sense of bristling disgust, absolute pacifism and smirking injustice that might someday get tipped in the meek's favor should patience come to them as it's been prophesized. There is a definite lonesomeness ringing like a burn through Ditherer and yet there's an odd self-confidence that comes across in the wonderful feeling that it was unavoidable and the best thing to do is to just get trashed, write songs behind old lonesomeness' back and drown, drown, drown in a gooey wash of heaviness that comes with a built-in mattress.
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