Today’s Bridge premiere is a dystopian dance bop for the times, courtesy of a band we’re delighted to hear from again.
“Who’s Watching Who?” is the latest of two singles getting an early push from The Noise FM today, via The Record Machine. It’s also the first release of original music since the band’s live album from recordBar in 2016.
The trio’s charm, polish and precision positively bursts, often in the form of euphoric live shows. Core members Alex and Austin Ward (lead vocals/guitar and drums, respectively) have made The Noise FM a mainstay of Kansas City music for 15 years, even though they haven’t lived in the area for about a decade. Growing up in Fort Scott, Kansas, the brothers relocated to Chicago for years, but made frequent stops at local festivals and their semi-annual Noise For Toys holiday benefit concert (bassist Barry Kidd also relocated to KC from Chicago). More recently, the Wards moved to Los Angeles to lend their talents to Hembree full-time.
Conscientious exuberance erupts on “Who’s Watching Who?”, a three-and-a-half-minute track that perfectly encapsulates the band’s superior songcraft. Rhythms and melodies pursue each other in lockstep, pairing menacing synth leads with hard-driving beats, and glossy riffs with groovy cadences. The single deftly examines the absence of accountability for people in positions of power.
“[The song] was originally written in early 2017 while helplessly watching the Trump administration’s discriminatory travel ban play out on TV,” the band stated. “I had just reread the graphic novel ‘Watchmen’ and was struck by its question of, ‘Who watches the watchmen?’ Who, if anyone, holds those in power accountable?”
“Who’s Watching Who?” is part of a two-song single available as an early release on The Noise FM's Bandcamp page. Proceeds from purchases of this single will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and local activist group One Struggle KC, until the official release on Friday, July 31.