In the era of post-punk, is it conceivable that we’ve entered the time of post-folk? Or in the era of post-postmodernism, perhaps we’re onto post-post-folk. We’re so ironic that we’re not ironic anymore, which seems to be the case of the Fembots (or sometimes, FemBots). They’re billed in their presskit as “post-industrial folk,” which is a way to excuse, I suppose, their use of percussion. No need for excuses, in my opinion — though the vocals are very folky, they mesh well with the brash rock underpinnings of their 2005 release, “The City.”

Their back catalog seems to be a lot more folky or country — “Small Town Murder Scene,” the title song of their 2004 release, features handclaps and what sounds like spoons or cowbell for percussion (something metal, anyway). It’s got a post-lo-fi (ha) vibe to it; other songs have spoken word, church bells, sirens … given my preferences, I like it very much. But in case you’re not into the whole alt-country scene, “The City” has kept much of the the rustic cowbellish sound but added rock (or post-industrial, if you like) to create an aurally pleasing mix. And if you go to the Paper Bag Records site, you can stream the albums yourself and write your own insightful post-review review.

The Fembots – Site | Label (Paper Bag)

[These tracks have been removed. You can contact me if you’d like a copy.]

The Fembots – Count Down Our Days
The Fembots – Hell
The Fembots – Small Town Murder Scene



  1. James’s avatar

    I saw them at one NxNE at a wonderfully wretched venue that no longer exists (I’d have to check my notes to get an exact date). I was phenomenally unimpressed with their live show at the time. They have improved, but not nearly enough.

  2. zara’s avatar

    Luckily you weren’t writing their presskit then! Those guys said their live show was “frenetic.” Which of course is not always a compliment. Heh.

  3. Icka’s avatar

    So when does folk become so “post” that it is no longer folk? And what does folk really mean anymore anyway, since most modern folk singers are aping “folk” singers who were aping other “folk” singers (I know the Clancy Bros. no matter how good they were, haven’t been around since 1806) who were aping the original folk singers? Can you answer this question for me, Zara? Or point me to someone who has tried to answer this question.

  4. Leaving Liverpool’s avatar

    Uh, I don’t want Icka to held responsible for such a nerdy comment. The above comment is mine.I take full responsibilty.

  5. zara’s avatar

    No I can’t, because I was just kidding. I don’t know when something becomes “post” — it just seems to happen. Post-modern comes after the Modern period, but why is it called post-modern? Why not give it its own name (the Confessional period, for instance, ha ha)? And why are we now in the post-postmodern era? It’s like Modernism was the last period of cultural time that meant anything. But I was just kidding about post-folk, unless you consider “folk” as a time period, which I suppose could be the late 19th-early 20th centuries, before the radio began to homogenize everything and make it super-accessible.

  6. Icka’s avatar

    I am going to make a post-your post-post.


    • adjective 1 relating to the present or to recent times. 2 characterized by or using the most up-to-date techniques or equipment. 3 (in art, architecture, etc.) marked in style or content by a significant departure from traditional values.

    • noun a person who advocates a departure from traditional styles or values.

    — DERIVATIVES modernity noun modernly adverb modernness noun.

    — ORIGIN Latin modernus, from modo ‘just now’.

    So, technically, isn’t the latest music always modern? And in a way, since the present is constantly becoming the past, isn’t all music post-modern? Oh, what a world!

  7. zara’s avatar

    True, but if you ever pay attention in your lit classes you’ll find that the Modern period was a specific cultural place in time. TS Eliot and Ezra Pound were the best-known Modernist poets … they, and artists like Picasso, chronicled the breakdown of Victorian civilization and mores before and during the first world war. Anything after the Modern period (I believe it ended before the 2nd world war. Or thereabouts) is considered “postmodern.”

    Right now, the latest music is post-postmodern, but they’re going to have to come up with something. Basically calling something p-pm implies that we’re a copy of a copy of the original :D And maybe we are.

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