– by Louis Humberstone
Fremantle eccentrics Formidable Vegetable Sound System bring funky Electro-Swing hooks and gardening themed lyrics on their adventurous new album Grow Do It.
From performing at local farmer’s markets to Glastonbury Festival, the Formidable Vegetable Sound System are a one-of-a-kind collective of musicians, balancing an Electro-Dance influence with an earthy acoustic sound, all as the background for a message on permaculture. Written by frontman Charlie Mgee as an album for children, Grow Do It is entertaining and catchy enough to appeal to all ages.
The lead single “Kimchi” is an upbeat track filled with horns and a chugging bass that has an undeniable swing. As charming as it is catchy, Mgee’s lyrics are both hilarious and instructional, giving the listener a recipe for the titular Korean side dish. Mgee says of the track, “It’s basically a recipe of how to make it yourself so that everyone can experience how awesome it is! The food-ninja challenge is getting past the smell, but once you’ve achieved that, everlasting deliciousness is your reward!”
Other standout tracks include “You Are What You Eat”, a simple message carried along by a pulsating bass and snappy drums, and “Mycelium Around Ya”, which convincingly turns a song about fungus into sunny pop. Album closer “Break It Down”, a brassy number encouraging composting, ends Grow Do It as it began: melodic, eccentric and purposeful.
Best listened to while gardening or cooking, Grow Do It is a feel good album that often surprises as it entertains with cheeky rhymes of sweet potatoes, stinging nettles and the story of a free-ranged chicken named Arabella, whilst taking the listener on a journey of electroswing reminiscent of Fat Freddy’s Drop and Cat Empire.
When taken for what it is, a jamboree introduction to permaculture that is cheeky and entertaining, Grow Do It is an easy listen that will stay in your head for days.