by FAITH BENNETT
A lot of local bands are competent musicians, and quite a few are enthusiastic performers, but it’s harder to find a band with the warmth of Foreign Trade. Complete with Ventures-style guitar riffs, driving rhythms and poignantly simple lyrics, they offer something different for our local music scene.
The band, comprised of Matt Rumbly, Mariah Johnson, Scott Buckingham and Hade Smith, has played just in Florida so far, mostly around Jacksonville at venues such as Phoenix Taproom, Jack Rabbits and Square One, but they’ve also travelled to Melbourne at Debauchery where they made great impressions. Part of the band hails from the Melbourne area, which partially explains why they don’t really sound like a Jacksonville band. (That’s a compliment, and I am such a supporter of Jaxcore.)
Rumbly’s impassioned vocals could be my favorite part of their sound. He sings in a fashion that was popular in the late eighties but has recently been present in other progressive indie rock acts like Sun Hotel, Big Tree and Young Jesus. The guitar sound is, as mentioned, reminiscent of sixties surf rock, but the neatest thing is they’re doing it right. I’ve seen a lot of internet-famous indie acts try to tie in surf and beach elements to no avail, but Foreign Trade weaves it in effortlessly. As far as rhythm goes, Smith and Buckingham hold it down. They have played with bands like Florida dance rockers Le Blorr, Wolfy Lonesome and surfy three piece the Lifeforms. Foreign Trade, at once dancey and a little post-punk, has carved out a unique space in Florida indie rock.
Foreign Trade is one of the best bands in this city right now, and you should keep up with them. They have a handful of shows coming up at Square One, Jack Rabbits and in Downtown Melbourne. All the dates can be found on their Bandcamp page where you can also download the six track EP they just put out this year. You should download it if you haven’t done so already.
by FAITH BENNETT