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Feral Conservatives / Press

“What happens when you take punk rock sensibilities, indie rock influences, unique vocal stylings, and you stir them all together with a mandolin? What happens is amazing! What happens is the Feral Conservatives! “Here’s To Almost” is FC’s first full-length album on Egghunt Records, and it marks a definitive step in the band’s evolution. Where 2012’s self-released “Breaks and Mends” was a strong debut, “Here’s To Almost” explores what is possible. From the jaunty Bus Driver to the driving grunge of Twenty-Eight to the anthemic Complacent and the depth of Acrylics, this album delivers the goods with every track. It would be easy for FC to lean heavily on the mandolin as a crutch, but that is absolutely not the case. The mandolin is treated as one piece of the total sound and the result is a complete, cohesive sound that is wholly their own.”

“More greatness from Virginia, this folky trio are full of pop and garage rock sounds, fronted by the sweetest of sweet female vocals from Rashie Rosenfarb. While there’s a semblance of post-punk to be found here, on the surface it’s innocuous pop-rock with easy to digest distortion, vocal harmonies and mandolins. As far as jangly indie-rock goes, it doesn’t get much better than this, and the constant ’90s feel of legends like Velocity Girl and Belly help solidify that.”

“...[T]he lead singer straps on an electric mandolin for the entire set. She uses it so well, you wouldn't know it if you were looking right at it, but something would nag at you with their sound as there is a subtle difference. She plays solid rock rhythms and even cuts clever leads that feature more of a soft delicacy than that of most electric guitar solos. The vocals invoke a bit of bluesy roots, but fit comfortably in any rock world as well. The drums are strong and the bass runs are gutsy and help a lot in covering for the lack of a guitar. This band can be welcomed on a wide variety of bills and you will want to pay attention when they appear at your show.”

“For some albums, it’s very easy to pinpoint specific reasons why it’s unmistakably great. The subject matter, the production, the cohesion, the flow; you could pick out any of those reasons and construct a narrative on why it’s worth any listener’s time, but for this record? That narrative constantly changes after each listen due to the strengths in almost every category one might list as essential for a “great” album. A perfect example of why it’s hard to form a narrative about this record would be a conversation I had with a friend last week... [A]fter I told — or rather demanded — him to listen to the record, he asked me what my favorite song was because he’d give that a listen and decide if it was up his alley. Simple request, right? Well, it took me two hours to form a coherent answer to that basic question about this unassuming record, people. Two hours.”

“On “Twenty-Eight”, Feral Conservatives ... share a blistering post-punk-pop track. “Twenty-Eight” is exhilarating, as the song channels the frenzied energy of Paramore with the lyrical prowess of Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz. The video for the song, though, is even more entertaining and wild...”

“Highly recommended album–catchy and substantial alt-pop with the sneaky power of mandolin!”

“I think the entire album is near perfect. The track list order is the best they’ve done. Cohesive and building throughout. ...This is one of those albums that can and should be played in any situation, a memory builder if you will. Right on Feral Conservatives, Here’s to Almost is certainly an instant alt-rock classic.”

“A spunky blend of R.E.M. and the Cocteau Twins, Feral Conservatives manages to run along the more compelling edge of a radio-friendly knife, glittering with electric mandolin all the way. Rashie Rosenfarb’s voice is largely reminiscent of Leigh Nash, with touches of Cyndi Lauper at higher pitches. Drummer Matt Francis and bassist Dan Avant set the tempo for twinkly folk, punk rock, and everything in between.”

“Trio from Virginia Beach shouldn't be able to evoke Uncle Tupelo and the Cranberries at the same time, but that's what the Feral Conservatives do on their latest release.”

“Musically, Feral Conservatives offer a diverse course of deliveries on “Almost,” that skate unabashedly between the rowdy noise and rocking drive the trio is known for (“Logan’s Song,”) and, a lighter, more singable aesthetic (“Pacific Child”). The latter makes Rosenfarb’s instrument of choice, the band’s arrangements and production decisions occasionally steer artistic correlations strongly toward jangly, alternative pop rock straight out of the late 90s with slices of Sixpence None the Richer or The Cranberries. Either way, it becomes virtually impossible not to end up wanting to dance or humming a few of Rosenfarb’s vocal bars here and there long after the songs are finished.”

“Feral Conservatives are on the rise, and we’re not talking about the latest polling numbers out of Iowa. Their name may evoke a Trump campaign rally, but the Virginia-based trio’s sound is more along the lines of ‘90s college rock — think Cocteau Twins and the Cranberries, for starters. What separates Feral Conservatives from their similarly nostalgic peers, however, is the debt they owe to rustic folk music. The band’s latest full-length, Here’s to Almost, traces its roots back to Seattle and Appalachia, with frontwoman Rashie Rosenfarb’s mandolin serving as foil to a wall of screeching feedback.”

“The trio; comprised of Rashie Rosenfarb on mandolin/vocals; Matt Francis on drums, pedal noise, and feedback; and Dan Avant on bass; kick out indie rock jams along the lines of the best jangle-pop, alt country, and college rock bands that would have supported Sonic Youth in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Although they’ve drawn comparisons to Alanis, The Cranberries, and Sixpence None the Richer, their actual sound is quite a bit more credibly badass, sonically unhinged, and poignantly existential.”

“Virginia’s Feral Conservatives are debuting their track “Wait For Me” off of their upcoming album, Here’s to Almost, out January 22 via Egghunt Records. “I was listening to a lot of Lucero when I wrote this song,” said Rashie Rosenfarb of the track. “This is what came out when I tried to write something soulful and country. ‘Wait For Me’ delves into growing up with this unrealistic idea of what love is suppose to look like presented by movies and TV, realizing it’s flawed, and then navigating through that.” Listen to the exclusive premiere of “Wait For Me” above, and be sure to check out Here’s to Almost when it drops in January (pre-order available now here).”

“A three piece band led by mandolinist Rashie Rosenfarb, who vocally reminds me a little bit of later Aimee Mann, the group is reminiscent of a less sloppy Pogues mixed in with a group I loved back in the day, The Heart Throbs. Matt Francis bangs the drums wearing a fuzzy animal hat and kicks ass in an adorably goofy manner. All while bassist Dan Avant manages to throw out a little bit of the guitar god role without.. You know.. Actually playing a guitar. He holds the groove down admirably. The band is tight. The music opens up your heart and throws a little punk rock hootenanny up in there. Their sound is impressively full for a three piece – all three appear to be excellent musicians and it shows. You can’t hide any weak spots in a small band like this, and Feral Conservatives more than step up to the plate.”

“The threesome have been compared to college rock staples Sonic Youth and Velocity Girl but the '90s references won't stop there. “Last Light” has the whimsy of Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me” and an Alanis-esque reference to “a sunny day when it’s raining outside”. Vocalist Rashie Rosenfarb also manages to sing with the swagger of golden-era Shania Twain (think The Woman In Me and Come On Over), though her melodic instincts are closer to those of contemporaries like Frances Quinlan (Hop Along). That bright voice and the buoyancy of the music that backs it are winning in and of themselves, but it’s the words being sung that will draw you back in for repeat listens.”

“...[W]hat can be said about Feral Conservatives is that there is almost nothing about them that should be aligned with expected conclusions; not their instruments, not their band name and not even their home base of Virginia. A mandolin, the signature of this group’s instrumental hooks, isn’t bringing the traditional bluegrass crowds flocking and, the idea of scrappy, jagged, pedal feedback with steady rock beats sounds more like a lower east side, late show, garage band than anything. (That said, their Twitter mini-biography does see them described as, “…a trio who think they’re a garage band” so, intuition avoidance be damned.) That though, is what makes this group so appealing. No cultural or stylistic component is driving the choices [they] makes for their songwriting or their determination to meet new people and share more music...As musicians with a spirit reminiscent of the feisty 90s, Feral Conservatives have simply taken to what inspires them and the rest became t”

“Feral Conservatives’ sound is a true relationship of harmony in which guitar feedback is made to share a bed with the sound of nylon strings. It isn’t the case that the songs progress through isolated stages of folk and fuzz respectively. Always present, separate parts that cross the borders of genre are made to mingle and get cozy with one another. The group combines that type of Americana which lives in the very pulse of the southern United States with the thick skinned punk of international Generation-Xers, making it possible for grassroots and grit to share a single bar. At the centre of all this we get Rosenfarb’s distinctive voice, which is both soft and commanding at once. With her voice Rashie reigns in and makes sense of a whole lot of sounds you wouldn’t expect to coalesce. And her ability to give a song a broad emotional range and dynamism takes these tunes from the realm of the good to the realm of the very good.”

“Their most recent release, the cassette EP The Feeling Noise Becomes, showcases how accomplished Rashie Rosenfarb has become at incorporating her folk style vocals and mandolin playing into the cutting-edge arrangements she forges with drummer Matt Francis and bassist Dan Avant... On “Misfire,” aggressive rock instrumentation creeps in around Rosenfarb’s beautiful singing and picks up steam as the song progresses. That pristine vs. power tension is even more impressive on “Class Reunion,” which features some classic guitar feedback, intricately layered vocals and a strong melody. Feral Conservatives opt for a more straight-forward folk approach on “Lies” backed a steady drum beat, while the catchy “Last Legs” has an appealing hint of R.E.M.”

“They're steeped in '90s post-punk, millenial irony, and a little bit of folky twang. Rashie Rosenfarb's playful, lonely vocals call to mind such indie stalwarts as Letters to Cleo, but the dry lyrics and powerful melodies remind me of Tracy Bonham (particularly "Lies.") Make no mistake, though -- this little EP is not a throwaway piece of cotton candy. The Feral Conservatives are committed to their music, and that excitement is transferred to the listener. If you like your music catchy but earnest, you'll fall for the Feral Conservatives as deeply as I did. Maybe we can have an open relationship.”

“Feral Conservatives have energy to spare, and despite the fact that this is a punk act, the band knows their way around a vocal hook, and I'm now worried that I'm going to be unproductive today cause I'm going to have "Class Reunion"'s chorus stuck in my head all day.”

“The LP’s latest single, “Misfire”, encapsulates Feral Conservatives’ dichotomous approach. From a quaint and romantic core consisting of gentle mandolin and Rashie Rosenfarb’s angelic croon, drummer-guitarist Matt Francis methodically layers in pounding rhythms and bone-shaking feedback. The result splits the difference between evocative folk and dissonant post-punk, a multi-faceted sound united by an endless sense of creative curiosity.”

“Their dedication to '90s post-rock textures is evident all over the music. From singer Rashie Rosenfarb's distinct voice and her Big Muff-infused mandolin to multi-instrumentalist Matt Francis' clever arrangements, the music of Feral Conservatives feels set apart from any sort of storied musical lineage; it feels separate and insular but not without the occasional bit of melodic inclusivity.”

“From Virginia Beach, VA is a staticky altpoprock duo following in the artful coolness of experimentation in sounds. They call themselves Feral Conservatives, which conjures up enough intrigue in itself but it’s the subtlety noisy, artsy, sweet, shining in their weaknesses, hints of sexiness, possibly planned shyness and interesting multi-instrumented approaches that brings the joy.”

“...draws from punk rock and pop elements to create a unique give-and-take aggressive yet soothing vibe. Little Pieces starts out tender enough but gradually builds into a powerful, gazey ballad rich with Rashie’s intense vocal wailing. All the aspects of folk, pop and rock come together so nicely on this track.”

“This outfit of audio sunshine is mandolin-based, lending a bright layer behind the simple yet powerful vocals and drumbeats.”

“Fuzz-leaning folk auteurs Feral Conservatives combine the intimacy of backwoods mountain folk with the subdued lyrics of genre-bending 90s college rockers like Velocity Girl, the Cranberries, and Cocteau Twins. The duo, made up of multi-instrumentalists Rashie Rosenfarb and Matt Francis, perfectly balance pop-leaning songwriting with lush orchestration from Rosenfarb’s manodolin, sparse strings arrangements, and perfectly balanced vocal harmonies.”

“Their songs often manage to mix a certain lightness, with the joyful flecks of mandolin, and the rawness of a true rock band.”

“Feral Conservatives describe themselves as “Mandolin-based indie rock with a hard edge and soft bottom” and this is a perfect description for them. Lady vocalist Rashie Rosenfarb (HER NAME ALONE. Rock and roll) has a great Dolores O’Riordan edge which, I think, is painfully missing from a lot of current indie-rock sugary vocalists. I could completely imagine this middle-mood, down to earth song as part of like the Empire Records soundtrack (Liv Tyler. 1995. Done.). Oh, and the song is catchy as shit.”

“Their sound is edgy enough to be feral, clean enough to be conservative, and lyrically thought-provoking enough to support the oxymoron.”

“The songs are well-crafted, with oddities that are both charming as well as introspective. Catchy without becoming overwrought or self-indulgent, the art rock, savory distortion, and dynamic use of the mandolin to create everything from melodic sound to noise rock shows that the Feral Conservatives are a multi-talented duo that can bring out the best in whatever they attempt to create.”

“Yeah, this group is just starting but damn, their debut recordings are almost flawless. They really took their time not only to shape their style and trim all the fat, but they manage to have a pretty outstanding sound as well.”

“Inhabiting a space somewhere in between Daydream Nation and Led Zeppelin’s ‘Battle of Evermore’, Feral Conservatives sound like if Thurston Moore’s gingery noise-imbued locks were squeezed as fertilizer onto rural Americana countryside. This is no bad thing. Comprised of Virginian multi-instrumentalists Rashie Rosenfarb and Matt Francis, Feral Conservatives have been making swathes with their folk-punk charm. They have labelled themselves as ‘The sweetest intervention’, a moniker akin to the feel of songs such as the opener of their latest album, Breaks and Mends. ‘Control’ is as good a pop song as any folk pop entrants, but its infused with a vibrancy and a harder, repetitive punk edge that owes a lot to more disparate influences and sets them apart from the raft of bands who are aiming for a jangle-punk drive.”

“Feral Conservatives deliver powerful, well-crafted songs … that happen to feature the mandolin. Rashie Rosenfarb (vocals, mandolin, bass, piano) and Matt Francis (drums, percussion, guitar, organ) challenge you to accept the reality of their music. If a female singer playing an electric mandolin shaped like a Gibson Firebird and backed only by a manic drummer summons visions of a bad SNL sketch, then you have failed the test. And you will miss out on some very good music.”

“The duo’s musical tendencies lean less toward the brutality of Steve Albini’s Shellac or Husker Du, but rather infuse the fuzz of Sonic Youth with sweet vocal melodies and prickly mandolin licks provided by frontwoman Rashie Rosenfarb, which allow this pairing to explore a more accessible side of the genre.”

“The sound on this latest release has a very modern Americana sound as if Mumford & Sons were fronted by Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries.”

“The instruments and the appropriateness unique to Feral Conservatives are sprinkled with sustained lines, rousing naivety, slushie desperation and intense combination of tender, smoky composition and woody girliness make for a delicious, angsty bravado. Oh and let’s not forget Rashie’s saccharine, almost diabetic “heys!” and that sweet, sweet mandolin. Yum.”

“Virginian duo Feral Conservatives are both multi-instrumentalists, and you're more than likely to detect a little mandolin incorporated into their indie-rock sound. It gives them an interesting edge at least, but they have good songs and that's far more important.”

“With their sound being a cocktail of dualities; the hard and the fast, the soft and the slow and the alternation between acoustic and distortion... The standout tracks are ‘Control’ and ‘Can’t Do This’, memorable for their art rock noise and catchy choruses and lets not forget the ever versatile mandolin which switches from being soft and melodic to bringing the noise in those tasty distorted tones.”

“The rough and soft qualities sounds contradictory, and may even make Feral Conservatives sound like a tidal wave mesh of noises. When in actuality its well composed, layered and definitely entertaining even for those who fear to venture deep into folk music. The distorted guitar and punchy drums are well evened out with the smooth mandolin that provides the perfect lead instrument that defines Feral Conservatives and allows them to stand out. Rosenfarb’s vocals are beautiful and smooth as the cherry atop this indie folk masterpiece.”

“Hailing from Virginia Beach, Feral Conservatives are a deadly pair that recently put out the Strive EP. Rashie Rosenfarb and Matt Francis lay out a sandbox of four eclectic songs. “Friends Bail Always" is a fresh track that pulls sounds from all different directions, with Rosenfarb’s angelic croon and the sound of organs and keys floating on top of the other instrumentation. The band ventures into charming and bizarre territory on “Hourglass", an indie-folk jam accompanied by Rosenfarb on mandolin and Francis on percussion. Check out Strive below, and be sure to keep Feral Conservatives on your radar.”

"Suffice to say that if you are a duo and your two primary instruments are mandolin and drums, you have my attention. Now, having said that, maybe you expect this to be a duo with a wispy woman in a sundress strumming her mandolin and singing folky songs. That is not the case. This band sort of takes me back to my college days. Why is that? Because both the energy and the vocals remind me a lot of Velocity Girl. That’s right. This is a duo that reminds me of a full five-piece band. Sure, there are some mellow songs on Breaks and Mends, but for the most part this is a band that plays energetic indie rock. With a mandolin. Loyal reader, you know we are fans of bands that do something different. Feral Conservatives certainly does something different and pretty well at that. If you like female-fronted indie rock, check out this band from Virginia Beach."