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Business Up Front / Party In the Back

Family Force 5

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Album Review

How do you know that Family Force 5 are a funny bunch of fellows? Well, they name their album after everybody's favorite haircut, the Mullet, for one — and if that didn't tip you off, there's also the fact that they have a drummer called "Crouton." But if you caught the Pulp Fiction reference in their band name ("Fox Force Five. Fox, as in we're a bunch of foxy chicks. Force, as in we're a force to be reckoned with. Five, as in there's one, two, three, four, five of us") and hoped that it meant that Family Force 5 might be clever will find Business Up Front/Party in the Back a disappointment. But that assumes that anyone had expectations for the first album by this band of "3 blood brothers and 2 friends." That's how they describe themselves on their MySpace page, which is also where they unleash their band manifesto: "they decided to make world history by playing a concoction of blended sounds!! Our music b uplifting and has a great message!" (sic). Well, they're being partially truthful. Family Force 5 do indeed play a concoction of blended sounds which, to the untrained ear, may sound like metallic riffs and rap rhythms learned from Limp Bizkit, but given a tongue-in-cheek makeover by piling up all sorts sounds from the '80s, from analog synths to the theme from Knight Rider to harmonies lifted from urban soul records to samples of Beastie Boys' samples to Speak & Spells, which are heard on about three tracks and name-dropped in the opener, "Cadillac Phunque." Their music is indeed uplifting, if your definition of uplifting is, to paraphrase Eddie Murphy, partying all the time — and that pretty much happens to be their message, too, since every one of the 12 songs on Business Up Front is about having a good time (even the "X-Girlfriend" and bitchy "Drama Queen" seem to get smacked down; they won't get with the program and party).

So, Family Force 5 don't take things too seriously, which is fair enough — rock & roll gets boring when bands get serious. But the great unspoken rule is that, with a few exceptions, rock & roll can be seriously irritating when it tries to be funny, which is a problem that plagues Family Force 5. And, man, do Family Force 5 try to be funny! All three singers — Soul Glow Activatur, Crouton, and Fatty — sing in goofy voices that occasionally come across like the privileged bullies mocking the needy. They ironically sing "you cannot stop the body rock/you cannot stop the funk." They steal lines, even phrasing, from the Beasties, they tell all the ugly people to "put ur hands down." The jokes fly so fast and furious, it gets a little tiring, but they do manage a few hooks that stick even if they grate ("Kountry Gentlemen" and "X-Girlfriend" chief among them). And they do have some musical acumen — perhaps not enough to give this record either grit or kineticism, but enough to make it reasonable background noise at a party. [The Diamond Edition reissue adds three newly recorded bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Very... Unique

Not sure that i've heard anything like this before... it's very unique and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for uniqueness. Just by looking at the titles of their tracks, the title of their album, and even their name... you can tell there's tons of uniqueness about them! I really suggest "Luv Addict"... it's a real catchy tune sure to have ya rockin'!

Absolute Excellence

Family Force 5. I first heard them on a demo CD for their recording label (which also consisted of the greats such as oh, Relient K & many others) I have been craving the rappish/rockish catchy tune of Kountry Gentleman for ages. FF5 is going to be an amazing hit among everyone. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this generation's music. It's unique. It's fresh. You're not going to find another FF5 anywhere else, so grasp the oppourtunity while you're at it! And definitely purchase Kountry Gentleman. You'll listen to it for hours, I promise you.

Didn't think it was my style...

Family Force 5 have become my new "gotta listen to it all the time" favorite band... which comes as a BIG surprise to me because I'm not really into the genre so much. The key is in the hooks... every song has one, and they are so addictive you can't help but move and sing along. If music is a vehicle to escapism, FF5 is the ultimate vacation. My favorites are: Kountry Gentelman, Drama Queen, and Earthquake.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Family Force 5, who once went by the name the Phamily, came together outside Atlanta, Georgia in 2004. The Olds brothers (Soloman or "Soul Glow Activatur" and twins Jacob and Joshua, "Crouton" and "Fatty," respectively) plus friends Nathan Currin ("Nadaddy") and Derek Mount ("Chap Stique") make up the band (original guitarist Brad Allen, or "20 Cent," left to play with other Georgia-based groups Everyday Sunday and the Trust), whose...
Full Bio
Business Up Front / Party In the Back, Family Force 5
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

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