ALBUM REVIEW: Follow Your Dreams – The Half Life Of Teaspoons (TNS Records/5 Feet Under Records)

Follow Your Dreams are a punk band from Manchester who formed in 2018, and this is their debut album.

Guitarist Tom, bassist Brendan and drummer Boff were in ska-core outfit Rising Strike, and they’re joined by singer Kaz, a long-time member of the TNS Records crew, who’d never been in a band before.

They released their first EP last year; three tracks of fast, angry hardcore punk with a technical twist.

Now we get their debut full-length, which is a genre-blurring collection of 10 furious slices of politically-motivated punk.

Released by Manchester-based DIY label TNS in conjunction with 5 Feet Under Records in Denmark, it sees them mixing melodic hardcore with prog, ska and even elements of jazz.

It’s raw, it’s visceral, and is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but they couldn’t pull this off if they weren’t extremely accomplished players.

Follow Your Dreams.

And in Kaz they’ve found a vocalist who is transformed from a softly-spoken self-confessed crazy cat lady into a screaming whirling dervish when she picks up a microphone.

The Half-Life of Teaspoons sees FYD combine the fury and urgency of DIY punk and hardcore with an experimental edge, using effects pedals, and featuring lots of varied time signatures and dissonance.

The album opens with lead single Maggots, which sounds like a slightly scuzzed-up version of arena rockers Muse until Kaz’s ferocious vocals kick in at 1:06.

Rinse And Repeat, one of the tracks from that first EP, is a good example of the shades of light and dark which are everywhere, going from bludgeoning hardcore to whimsical pop, and then back again.

Fuck This is a list of things to be angry about (and it’s an extensive one, including warmongers and Tony Blair), while their prog-punk never gets more varied than on Not Your Meat, where thrash metal and melodic hardcore collide.

Knock Knock introduces trumpet to the heady mix, and there are some frankly bonkers time changes on the stop-start Who’s There? Depression, but not nearly as many as on the never-more-proggy closer Pushing Buttons, which, at nearly five minutes, is the longest track here.

If you like a bit of harmony in your punk, I’d avoid this like the plague; if you like blistering noise combined with outrageous experimentalism and multiple time changes then it’s probably right up your street. You can get The Half Life Of Teaspoons from TNS Records HERE. 7/10.

Gary Welford owner