The first thing that struck me, when I heard Fokofpolisiekar for the first time, was how angry these guys sounded. Upon hearing their name when the band initially formed, back in 2003, my impression was, that they were this angry, rebellious group of misfits, who were out to cause mayhem were trying to rebel against society and who were deliberately throwing a 'middle-finger' of “up yours' to the police.
I had listened to a couple of Fokof's songs in the past, and their music did, in fact, sound rebellious. It was edgy and energetic, and I know that their music appealed to many people, from all walks of life.
When I was given FOKOFPOLISIEKAR's new album, 'SELFMEDIKASIE', to review, I thought to myself, that this would be another heavy, angst-filled album.
I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this album for the first time because it had a softer, more mature feel to it. The opening track starts off with a bang. “Ek verloor, dis in my bloed baby” is the first line off of this catchy and exciting new album. It's a cool, and edgy track, catchy and it makes one want to bang his head, while at the same time, it has laid-back, melodic parts in between. It's one of those songs that an audiophile would put onto their playlist, under the title of 'heavy rotation'.
The second track, 'Parkiebank, Herfs 2017', continues on a similar tempo, where the first track kicked off. The lyrical theme is introspective and takes a look through the eyes of a person, who is struggling to make ends meet, wandering to himself if he will ever be able to afford to the things, that people with money can. Will he work his entire life, and not afford to buy nice things like fancy cars or big houses? It also talks about how we live in a country with so many riches, yet there are so many people who are struggling financially. This is a very personal song, as it rings so close to home for many of us who live in South Africa.
Being a relatively new listener of Fokofpolisiekar, and still not familiar with all of their previous work, I am pleasantly surprised, by how far this band have come, musically, and lyrically. They have progressed into a more mature, and less rebellious direction. While I enjoy loud, heavy music, I do appreciate the slower, melodic stuff, too. The song, 'Ek glo in die son' is one of these songs. In fact, this track, which is track 4 off 'SELFMEDIKASIE', is quite possibly, my favourite song from this album.
Musically, it is a soft, slow-paced ballad, which has a strong nostalgic feel to it. Basically, lyrically, it speaks about believing in all the good things in life. Family, nature, and the promise of a new day. The song mentions “Ek glo jy moet alle mense hanteer soos wat jy hanteer wil word.” Which translates to “I believe you must treat others, the way you want to be treated.”
In general, this album is a lot more mature, and dare I say, tamer, than some of the previous work I have heard from Fokofpolisiekar. The lyrics are far more personal and discuss the members' life experiences. There are 13 tracks on this album and no skits in between. The album makes for great listening, sitting with friends, or just relaxing at home, unwinding after a long day at the office. The cd comes with an amazing booklet, complete with lyrics to every track, as well as photos of the band, and entertaining sketches of different images.
Regardless of one's ability to understand Afrikaans, and to me, music in languages different to my own, has no bearing of my enjoyment of the music, this album will be a welcome addition, to any rock lover's collection.