Fonija – …Bez ime
Ah, a new Fonija album! I was completely blown away by Mojot Pekol, their previous full length. That album is, I guess, the punk album in my collection that I’ve played more than any other punk album. I just keep going back to it. No kidding, I totally dig that album. The split with Culture Development sounded promising so when Fonija’s guitar player and singer asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their new album it didn’t take me very long to decide.
After discovering Fonija I also listened to some of their earlier albums (especially Zelen, sončev den), but that didn’t delve into that too deep. What I enjoy most of Mojot Pekol is the immense sound, the ultra catchy songs delivered with a slick sound, but with a punk attitude. Earlier work missed out on that immense sound mostly. The band sounds like they’re still developing what became their sound on Mojot Pekol. The songs on the split with Culture Development were mostly in the same vain, but considering the development this band went through already it should come as no surprise their sound changed again.
Unfortunately, as you might have guessed, I was a bit surprised not to find a Mojot Pekol part II. So it took me some time to recover from my initial shock; I found myself listening to a band that has reinvented themselves. Let’s start with the shock part where I was staring at my stereo amazed during the first track, Ulici bez ime. The album starts slow. Not really a big deal, as Fonija in my mind is about catchy tunes, not about a continues adrenaline rush due to immense speeds. But then… what is that eighties keyboard doing over there? And it isn’t a one time thing, as that keyboard is returning in several songs. Are they doing that post punk thing that’s hip and happening all over the place, I can hear you think? No, that’s not the sound they went for. Imagine the use of stadium rock synths. That should come close. It’s adding an extra layer to their sound. Further down the line Robot ili Dete and especially Vreminja sound as if they are co-written by their Macedonian colleagues Bernays Propaganda. These catchy, danceable tracks have their trademark written all over it. Not a bad thing in my book. There’s also a couple of songs on …Bez ime that are closer to Mojot Pekol, like Cetvrtok. This makes the transition a bit easier. A change that I embraced straight away is the absence of the screamed backing vocals. Those vocals were my biggest complaint about Mojot Pekol. There’s one song that I’m not sure about if I like it or not, album closer Bezdna. It’s a power ballad kind of song. The song itself sounds great; I’m not sure if I like the vocals too much on this song. They sound a bit shaky at times and a bit out of place. But this is only a small remark on another great album.
The fact that I find new influences here, but also a couple of songs that could be written in the Mojot Pekol period makes me wonder if this album will later be considered as a transitional album. We’ll see. If …Bez ime will gain an equal position in my collection as Mojot Pekol is something yet to be discovered. Ask me again in a year or so. For now, I’m happy with the album and this next step in the development of Fonija. My best guess is it will end up getting as much playtime as Mojot Pekol.