By Ziggy Merritt
For a few years now the voice of Felicia Lobo has led the Brooklyn-based four-piece QWAM in shouting their way through waves of self-important hipsters, all the while, soundtracked by the hiss of amplified feedback. On their latest effort, Feed Me, they tap into a deep well of adrenaline that rips apart this demographic with aggressive percussion and guitar. They make few stops across the five tracks that make up this EP, settling into a blistering pace that wraps up in just under 15 minutes. It’s an auspicious start to the new year with the band taking things carefully enough to craft a record that is packed with anthemic punk and an attitude that rejects pretension in favor of playful lyricism.
Take the title track, which at one point takes you on a trip through an interlude comprised of nothing more than people rapturously listing off foods you might snack on after chugging away at a giant blunt. The before and after of this is filled in with an all too familiar stretch of alt-rock angst ripped straight out of the 90s. That same angst could easily be levied against the album’s better intentions to be a fun diversion from taking things too seriously. For some, it may be overstated, even overwhelming if you’re not invested in their brand of playful punk.
Meanwhile, the lead single from the EP, “Doggie Door”, emerges as the best of their offerings with the slower burn of the closer “Dirty Feet” butting heads to try and claim that #1 spot. QWAM, however, is at their best when they play fast and loud, something you get in abundance with “Doggie Door.” Throughout this EP, yet rendered here in its most raw form, Lobo’s distinct sneer takes a stance against your commonplace urbanite obsessed with Whole Foods and beard wax. This is done without being disingenuous or untrue to their audience. Whether that audience is comprised of strung-out partiers or frenzied punks, QWAM just wants you to get over yourself and dance.