Steeped in trash and 90s aesthetics FOE’s rumbling indie pop is shamelessly direct. Relying on chopped and spliced power chords much of Bad Dream Hotline feels like Marilyn Manson interpreted by Christina Aguilera using Taylor Monsen’s rhyming dictionary. However, you’re unlikely to find FOE writhing around in a skintight dress on MTV, instead she sends up the plastic pop establishment with her own array obnoxiously obvious couplets on “Money” and “Tryant Song”. Replacing Reznor’s ear shredding saws with a haunted fair ground waltz, Broken Dreams Club proves remarkably addictive as one clumpsy clichés smashes into the next without the slightest hint of shame.
Better yet, when FOE drops façade and indulges in a full-blown ballad (“Dance & Weep”) her endearing fragility shines through the shock and awe metaphors as she frailly recalls that “Everyone’s Watching But You”. She may have the most fun mocking the industries vicious cycle (“The Cash Signs Burn Behind Your Dead Eyes, And The Children Whisper: Don’t You Want To Meet Your Maker”) but Bad Dream Hotline is at its best when FOE paints the wannabee pop star in an endearing light (“I Don’t Want To Be Another, Dead Twenty Something Or Another”). Surprisingly endearing and undeniably addictive, FOE’s nightmarish pop star satire is an unexpected triumph. David Hayter