Not long ago, a band of backwoods guys named Feral Children uprooted themselves to Seattle and immediately created a ruckus with songs of primal intensity soaring with pop sensibility. Pacific Northwest tastemakers jumped all over their 2008 debut, Second to the Last Frontier: “ [it] will undoubtedly be heralded as one of 2007’s best” (The Stranger), “the future is now for the Feral Children” (John Richards, KEXP), and even “Perfect, absolutely perfect” (Seattle Sound Magazine). And the visceral ferocity of their live performances quickly earned them choice slots at most major Seattle venues (Showbox, Neumos, The Crocodile, Bumbershoot, etc.) followed by national tours to CMJ and SXSW.
Their haunting 2nd LP, Brand New Blood (also produced by Scott Colburn of Animal Collective fame) evokes Feral Children’s rural PNW territory – sprawling, chilly, vast, strange, and, at times, violently stormy. The schoolboy-choir harmonizing and classic “oohs” over the more delicate compositions on Brand New Blood sound like this pack of Feral Children ate Grizzly Bear, while the louder, angular, and unpredictable stretches suggest Sigur Ros gone rabid. The album is all about haunting atmospheres; specifically, the Pacific Northwest woods featured in Twin Peaks or Twilight. It feels as if it were recorded along the banks of the Green River Gorge in January at 3 a.m., with the cold blankets of synthesizer (“Kid Origami”), their trademark tooth-clattering, dueling percussion that sounds like the breaking of bones (“Castrato”), and the volatile, strangling guitars (“Enchanted Parkway”).
The music of Feral Children feeds off of isolation and loneliness, the ghosts of their working-class pasts, and the awkwardness of trying to fit in to Seattle’s hyper self-aware music scene. But these guys are proud to stand together as a pack: defiant, dysfunctional, and outsiders to the core.