Since 2005, FAMILY FORCE 5 has been galvanizing audiences with their incendiary dance floor mix of dirty South dance-rock anthems, thunderous beats, Southern-fried guitar and good-time lyrics. After raucous performances at Sonisphere, the Vans Warped Tour and a handful of U.S. festivals this summer, the Atlanta quintet will release their genre-obliterating new album III on October 18 via Tooth & Nail Records//III Entertainment.
Part party-bangers, part grimy rockers, FAMILY FORCE 5’s booty-quaking beats and face-melting synths have earned them a loyal following culled from their ceaseless touring and chart-topping albums, the group’s previous album 08’s Dance or Die debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #30and the Modern Rock chart at #8 with 13,000 copies sold in the first week.
III marks a dynamic shift for the group, a return-to-rock sound that resurrects the heavy guitars and bombastic beats of their debut. Opening track “Can You Feel It” explodes with searing guitars and vocalist SOLOMON’s distorted voice slices through the boom-bap of tumultuous drums. “Our goal was to make jock jams for the future,” DEREK (guitars) says about the album opener. “At the time, we were listening to a lot of Sleigh Bells, and we wanted to create something mean and gritty. This track gets people hyped up, and it perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album.” Unadulterated energy ties the band’s unstoppable genre-hopping as FAMILY FORCE 5 explores low slung bass booms and harmonica howls on “Wobble” and the tongue-in-cheek “scenie baby” call-out pop song, “Tank Top.” These are songs for blaring at maximum volume, blasting from a sweaty club or a low-riding pick-up truck. “III sounds like rock and roll with barbecue sauce,” DEREK laughs.
III is the follow-up to 08’s Dance or Die which pushed the band into electro-groove territory, as a synth-powered cavalcade lead with SOLOMON’s passionate vocals. An Alternative Press magazine cover story followed the album’s release and the group co-headlined the completely sold-out “Alternative Press Fall Tour” with 3OH!3 and The Maine in late 2009. Ever since their frenetic ’06 debut Business Up Front, Party in the Back (Maverick), FAMILY FORCE 5 has forged their own path. After leaving their major label deal, the band pushed on to sell over 350,000 digital singles and well over 150,000 albums. It’s this DIY-style that has continued to make the group (made up of the brothers JACOB, JOSH, and SOLOMON OLDS, and brothers-from-other-mothers, NATHAN CURRIN and DEREK MOUNT) into self-made juggernauts that steamroll audiences with their upbeat party anthems and raucous stage antics.
Although they aren’t afraid to take a trip on the ironic side, the band tips their hats to authenticity. On III, they infused a taste of reality, exploring more than just the party scene they’ve espoused during their career. On “Paycheck,” the band addresses the challenges of living in a country suffering with economic collapse and seemingly incurable unemployment. “I’m broke/broke as a joke/thinkin’ ‘bout movin’ back in with my folks,” Solomon sings on “Paycheck.” FF5 heard the stories of their fans who are down on their luck, unemployed and struggling to survive. “A lot of America is pretty poor right now,” SOLOMON explains. “We kept hearing our fans say they were living paycheck to paycheck. So we wanted to write a song about that, with a positive message that turns it around.”
After a lifetime of making music, FAMILY FORCE 5 have unmistakably come into their own. They’ve forged together their disparate musical influences, their reckless attitude, and heartfelt authenticity into III. Now, with hardships behind them and the open road ahead, the band is on a mission to keep their fire spreading and their family growing. “FAMILY FORCE 5 is a real, authentic community that transcends the music,” Derek says. “We make music that we love, and we hope other people love it too, whether it makes them break-dance, two-step, or simply smile.”