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Dance or Die by Family Force 5

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Review of Dance Or Die EP

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The Advocate

Dance or Die EP
by Family Force 5

Reviewed by Karri Compton

"Think dance music on steroids."

Family Force 5’s success has been a whirlwind picking up steady speed since 2006. The last two years has seen the Five release their first CD, Business Up Front/Party in the Back and pick up thousands of fans on MySpace. Their videos are regularly featured on Gospel Music Channel’s Rock Block, and you can catch their Warped Tour in one of 40 cities nationwide from June 21st to August 17th.

So who are these guys and what kind of music do they play? The band consists of Solomon Olds (Soul Glow Activator), Jacob Olds (Crouton), Joshua Olds (Phatty), Nathan Currin (Nadaddy), and Derek Mount (Chap Stique).

FF5 calls their music “crunk”, a mix of rock, hip hop, and dance music that features drum loops, repetitive lyrics and a high energy, club-oriented feel. I think of it as retro 80’s techno pop with some rap and screamo mixed in. Regardless of what you call it, there is no doubt it’s original. Some bands who have influenced their music include the Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Prince, and Talking Heads.

This latest three-song EP includes the song “Dance or Die,” which seems to encourage us to not give up--to do the dance of life. Think dance music on steroids. “Fever” is the most fun in my opinion--very funky with lyrics that may or may not have double meaning. “Wake the Dead” is basically a call for the young to rise up and be who they are. The older generation and those who would denounce loud music, and tradition in general, are frowned upon. But as a parent, I’m not offended. Change is going to happen and we can’t hold on to all of our staunch, outdated ideas of what kids should be like. If you were locked in a box, wouldn’t you want to get out?

So what’s all the hype about Family Force 5? The lyrics aren’t anything to write home about--really, it’s all about the music. I say it’s good clean fun. I have a twelve-year-old FF5 fan at home and that doesn’t bother me. Considering all of the other garbage a pre-teen could be listening to, I’m counting my blessings. And I’ve expanded my horizons enough to enjoy it myself.

FF5’s new album releases in the fall, 2008. Until then, I guess we’ll just have to dance or die.

Karri ComptonKarri Compton, wife and mother of three teens, two cats, and a beagle, devours Christian fiction whenever possible. Her favorite genre is suspense/thriller, especially Ted Dekker and Steven James novels. Since promoting biblical worldview fiction is dear to her heart, she reviews on her blog, Fiction Fanatics Only! and is a staff reviewer for such sites as The Christian Suspense Zone and Fiction Addict. Her stab at writing a novel confirmed what a tough job it is, and so the work is shelved for now, allowing the pros to do what they do best. When she isn't reading and reviewing, Karri stays busy at church and performing in various community theater companies.