Two-piece rock bands almost invariably consist of a drummer and a guitarist, one or both of who double as singers - think No Age, the White Stripes, or previous Chicago Singles Club feature White Mystery. Foul Tip defy the formula by pairing drummer Ed Bornstein with bassist Adam Luksetich, giving the duo a powerfully minimalist sound. This arrangement presents a novel set of challenges that they use to create equally unique songs that range from upbeat post-punk to heavy sludge.
The role of Adam's bass in their music is greatly expanded, providing additional melodies, noisy textural riffs, and the songs' harmonic underpinnings - sometimes all at once - and always blasting through a variety of tone-altering pedals and an imposing sixteen-speaker amp setup that borders on overkill.
Of course, Foul Tip isn't defined entirely by their self-imposed limitations. Ed's drumming deserves special note in its jerky precision and tasteful understatement. The two musicians have a hivemind-like connection that shows in their interlocking rhythms and their occasionally contrapuntal dueling lead vocals.
But at their core, they're just two long-time friends that can't take anything too seriously. Madness is full of turns of phrase like "I've got a mouth full of nails / it's a sharp diet", and on guitar overdubs for Strike 1,000 they requested to use "the worst amp you have." Check out the tracks and the interview to see how Foul Tip can't sit still, both figuratively and literally.
Foul Tip is
- Ed Bornstein
- Drums / Vocals
- Adam Luksetich
- Bass / Vocals