Featuring members Cameron Moretti (vocals), James Scuderi (guitar), Sean Harrington (guitar), Josh Matte (guitar), Andy Tamulonis (bass) and Joey Barthlette (drums), the New England band Foreign Tongues has been on a tear since it formed in the fall of 2011.
The group played its first show in March of 2012, and since then has toured throughout the Bay State and released a self-titled EP and a pair of cover songs from Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Additionally, Foreign Tongues has had the lyrics to one of its tracks, “Winter Song,” featured in an article on Huffington Post, and the band has even joined forces with the Boston punk band Ghost Thrower to record material for a split single.
“We try to write progressive indie rock that’s still got a grungy vibe to it,” says Moretti. “Keep those guitars on clean and let it ride.”
On its debut, Foreign Tongues does more than conjure the spirit of ’90s alternative bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and the aforementioned Amherst natives of Dinosaur Jr. In fact, a large portion of the group’s sound seems to have roots in hardcore music. “Envy,” especially, includes pretty aggressive vocals, but there is also ample guitar shredding and a nuanced display of sound dynamics.
“We all grew up going to hardcore shows and whatnot, but we’ve always liked more mellow music in general,” says Moretti.
A perfect example is “You,” an EP highlight, which, while not completely mellow, makes use of quieter verses and explosive passages to illustrate the contrasting natures of a couple in the grips of a love/ hate relationship.
“There are plenty of touchy subjects lyrically that I wanted to scrape the surface of,” Moretti said in a May interview with the indie record label Paper + Plastick. “But while I was writing I realized I held back from keeping things vague and wrote lines a lot more straightforward.”
Continuing this account of the group’s musical evolution, Moretti also notes that Foreign Tongues’ newest material shows yet another side to the band, one that, while not as heavy as some past Foreign Tongues tunes, still remains true to the group’s ideals.
“All I can say is [that] a lot of our newer material is a lot more jammy,” he says. “It’s still our band’s sound, but songs are more structured and have more dynamics throughout the song. We’ve also been writing a lot of new songs that have mostly acoustic guitars with a full band.”
Foreign Tongues plays throughout New England, and has scheduled a date in Boston alongside post-hardcore act Therefore I Am on December 22.
“We [also] have a lot of recorded, unreleased music in the works,” says Moretti. “So I’d say, keep an eye peeled for anything.”•