Friday, 13 September 2013

Fonija - Mojot pekol

Album review by

There's always the risk when reviewing music sung in a language you know not a single word of, that the content may not be something you'd wish to cover. Fonija hail from Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. Following Tuesdays football match between Macedonia and Scotland, reports of racist chanting have been reported to FIFA. Have we got anything to worry about? Almost certainly not. Football thuggery and music don't go hand in hand often, and when they do, the British have been some of the worst perpetrators of all. Just look back to certain bands from the "Oi" scene. Not our finest hour, and problems continue in Britain to this day, maybe at a worse level than for some time.

Music should be something that unites, and hearing these three Macedonians rattle through a set of indie/punk tunes like this is a thrill. There are no dips, no pauses, no filler; this is ten songs that hover around the two-and-a-half minute mark and are simply bursting with energy and melody. The vocals (to my ears at least) are simply another instrument, and when they introduce female backing, as on highlight 'Tuka si' it's even better. You can't accuse Fonija of making an incohesive record, these songs were born to be together and thanks to the quality of the writing there's not a single problem with repetition either. They're all the same format, but are good enough to each stand alone.

It's worth giving credit to the production here too, these songs have really been brought to life, and despite punk being essentially a middle-aged man by now, this it fresh with vitality and enthusiasm. What's notable about the style of this band, is that it's really not far removed from the current American idea of punk, something which leaves a lot to be desired, yet here sounds terrific. The title-track is another personal favourite, but really you can take your pick. Perhaps they've stumbled on a magic formula. Let's forget divisions, forget the intolerant bigots and the minority of twats that tarnish sports or nations and use music as the unifying force it should be. The words may mean nothing to most English speaking ears, but the music will be enjoyed by many.

Fonija's website

Stream or download the album

Catch them live:

13.09.2013 – Klub Fest, Belgrade/Serbia
14.09.2013 – Klub Exit (PunkParti), Osijek/Croatia
15.09.2013 – Regenerator (Green Room session), Zabok/Croatia
16.09.2013 – Trafik Klub, Budapest/Hungary
17.09.2013 – Garaze pod pristavnym mostom, Bratislava/Slovakia
18.09.2013 – Boro Klub, Brno/Czech Republic
19.09.2013 – Bublina klub, Bohumin/Czech Republic
20.09.2013 – Wats music club, Holešov/Czech Republic
21.09.2013 – MIKK, Murska Sobota/Slovenia
23.09.2013 – K.U.R.C, Maribor/Slovenia
24.09.2013 – Gromka, Ljubljana/Slovenia
25.09.2013 – Stara Hiša Mladih, Ajdovščina/Slovenia
26.09.2013 – Warehouse Skatepark, Zagreb/Croatia
27.09.2013 – Somborske Ruže, Sombor/Serbia
28.09.2013 – CK13, Novi Sad/Serbia
29.09.2013 – Agora, Kumanovo/Macedonia

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