Two years ago, FEA debuted at Maverick Music Festival as a fast and furious outfit armed with Chicana punk politics and a rhythm section to make the Misfits green with envy. Girl in a Coma alums Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva enjoyed not only the rarity of being a hometown favorite on the first show, but the freedom to be as bad as they wanted to be outside of their alt-rock band of note. Singer Letty Martinez whipped the crowd into a frenzy, despite 20-odd feet of river between the band and its fans at the Arneson Theatre.
Two years and thousands of road-worn hours later, FEA has released an embattled debut of Chicana punk rock. Not that it’s a contest, but Alva and Diaz beat out fellow Girl in a Coma Nina Diaz to the first, full record in their hiatus.
Produced by Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland and Alice Bag of OG, LA punks The Bags, FEA placed themselves in good company. It’s hard to make high fidelity punk sound good — clean it up too much and the energy of the live set evaporates But the album pulls of the feat, with a fat bass tone, in-your-face guitar and Letty Martinez careening about on top.