fk mt. ‘Fertilizer’ Review

Fertilizer is comprised of four, raw and engaging punk songs, as catchy as they are grunge-y.

fk mt. (pronounced Fuck Mountain) are a sardonically-poppy grunge 3-piece from Columbia, South Carolina. The trio has been trading in catchy, fuzzed-out punk riffs for a couple years now, following the 2013 break-up of guitarist/vocalist Ryan Morris’ former band, Interpreter, a high brow post-metal band for whom Morris played drums. Once fk mt. had a proper debut, they gained an immediate, and overwhelmingly positive, reception by local crowds and critics.

fk mt. is rounded out by bassist and backing vocalist Ony Ratsimbaharison (of garage punks Chemical Peel) and recent addition, drummer Josh Latham (of post-punk outfit The Fishing Journal), who is replacing former full-time member Brandon Johnson.

Though it could be said that fk mt. play “pop punk”, they are far and away a different breed than what most people have come to expect of said genre, falling more on the side of Latterman and Adventures than The Story So Far or Man Overboard, and drawing more influence from Nirvana and Silverchair than Blink-182 or New Found Glory (at least in practice).

On October 23rd, the stoner-rock trio released their fourth (or third depending on how you look at it) EP, Fertilizer, which will be their final album recorded with Brandon Johnson on drums (according to the album credits). Fertilizer is comprised of four, raw and engaging punk songs, as catchy as they are grunge-y. Recorded locally at the Jam Room, Fertilizer is a beautifully bare-bones type of record, captured with warmth and authenticity, vocal cracks and little imperfections left in for posterity, giving it a charming honesty that is usually glossed over by fk mt.’s contemporaries in post-production.

Each instrument on the EP is given a rather equal presence in the mix, as well as equally compelling performances and parts. It’s rare that one instrument will soar over the other. Rather, fk mt.’s members work in tandem to amplify the power of their riffs, finding common ground in the simple and strong chord progressions. Each individual’s unique musical background, from shoegaze and metal to garage rock and hardcore punk, come through in subtle ways that all lend themselves to the cohesive, grunge tone of Fertilizer, and considering that the “grunge genre” is rooted in those stylistic areas, it makes perfect since for fk mt.’s sound, and gives them a unique blend compared to their peers who are typically only influenced by other grunge bands.

Fertilizer  is the perfect record for the person looking for a few songs with attitude but low intensity to sing along to while you’re rolling your next lonely joint (or, ya know, if you’re just a fan of the album Daydream Nation). Fertilizer is currently streaming on fk mt.’s bandcamp and is available through limited edition cassette. Now’s the perfect time to start getting into this band, considering that, with the release of this EP, they now have roughly an album’s worth of material, and whether they choose to consolidate their previous work into a full-length or roll with all new material is up to anyone’s best guess, either way, it’s a great EP and some of their most catchy and accessible material to date, making it a perfect entry point for new fans.

Source: Album Art
Emory Lorde

Emory is a RVA-based writer, hard femme, and heavily-tattooed queer who’s always on the look out for a house show where she might crash the mosh pit and discover her next favorite band. When she’s not over-analyzing pop culture, you can find Emory with her head in the clouds, brain-storming her next creative endeavor, or just staring blankly into space.