"We Are The Monsters" by Liam Vincent and The Odd Foxes

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"We Are The Monsters" by Liam Vincent and The Odd Foxes

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Liam Vincent and The Odd Foxes fans will I'm sure be aware of & anticipating that band's Hallowe'en single (the lyric video will be live on 27th October and you can actually acquire it already from this place: https://oddfoxes.bandcamp.com/track/we-are-the-monsters) which as the link suggests, is called "We Are The Monsters".

Featuring a slightly evolved lineup from that which performed on their recent debut album ‘Fabric of a Flawed Society', the players this time out are: Liam Vincent on guitar & vocals, Rebecca Mileham  on violin & vocals,  David Walls on mandolin, Jamie Thompson ,who plays electric guitar as well as engineering, mixing & mastering, bassist/vocalist Matt Berry and drummer Paul Disley.

It's customary these days to reduce Hallowe'en to a set of barely understood tropes which alienate us from any genuine meaning that this festival might have had for our forebears. These include grotesques, cliched references to sanitised folk memories and a bizarrely processed "engagement" with the dead which has no connection with what any sensible person would adopt in relation to deceased friends and family.

The Odd Foxes, as is their custom, subvert this frankly commodified nonsense and repurpose it to their own radical ends. In this case (and the point is emphasised forcibly in the artwork you can see here and even more so in the video), the "monsters" are genuine ones from our contemporary society: not myths, not the constructs of commerce and the media, but real bastards who are currently hurting people, exploiting people and destroying communities and the planet. I'd list them for you but that would spoil the surprise of the video (though  I very much doubt that any of their targets will be unexpected): you've got two to be going on with here.

The Odd Foxes are, as I say a radical band and they root the things they write about in our history. Some of that is a sense of what's disappearing before our eyes, some what's been lost & needs reclaiming and other aspects are the media they use: the polemical & campaigning aspects of traditional folk music, delivered via high quality performance skills on traditional instrumentation using hallowed structures yet also drawing on the recent revival of that approach, incorporating contemporary tools. All these give their songs an edge, but the most of that aspect comes from the barely controlled anger in their delivery. Having seen them live, I can attest to their righteous fury, but they are excellent at capturing that on record.

For some reason, capitalist society has managed to brand Hallowe'en as "fun". Which in itself is a bit frightening. "We Are The Monsters" isn't fun (though the tune is sufficiently infectious that dancing is a definite possibility: a sort of stomping defiant dance maybe) but it knocks all the silly seasonal songs out of the park. In fact, though I can see why they thought it would be mischievous to sneak it into the Hallowe'en playlists and watch people's faces when they cotton on that it's a serious song, "We Are The Monsters" should exist & certainly be played at any time of the year.

These are justifiably aggrieved people & luckily, they have the talent to channel their frustrations into a genuinely great & memorable song which hopefully will get a few people thinking as to whether trick/treating or actually doing something about the real monsters in the world is the best use of their time. It made a big impression upon me.

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