Local Single Review: Fowl – Kool Aid

By Emily Duff

Before this single was released I was excited to see what local “merriment providers” Fowl had come up with. The artwork, by lead singer Evan Coatsworth, and title all gave hints to an interesting backstory implying a heavy influence from the Jonestown Massacre, a cult resulting in a mass suicide. This is a hard-hitting topic to discuss in only the length of one single but is perfect for emphasising our need to take caution with everything you’re told.

Just listening to the single in my house, our only option with current events, brings me back to recent gigs at Think Tank and Riverside. The head-banging bass of Alex Wilkinson combined with the heavy drumbeat from Luke Stevens provides a sound that will easily create a mosh pit once this is all over and life as we know and love returns.

I spoke to Matthew McDonnell, Fowl’s guitarist, who explained the inspiration for focusing on the Jonestown Massacre and the cult led by the delusional reverend Jim Jones was that it demonstrates “how gullible and easily convinced people can be, especially vulnerable people”. This is something that can be used as a warning for the modern day media-focused society, and music is a great way to spread that message. 

Although the song is lengthy, almost 6 minutes, listeners are sucked into the powerful lyrics: “drink your drinks and enter into a new age” and “1978, 918 deaths recorded, 918 souls”. These lines highlight recent political campaigns fueled by half-truths and personal agendas. 

The satirical lyric “our bastard Jim Jones ushering us into a new age of prosperity and love” mirrors that of Boris Johnsons’ December election slogan, “get Brexit done”, with Brexit being our way of ushering in a new age of division and struggle. As well as the collective pronoun “our” emphasising our equal responsibility and the irony of these people in power being chosen by us. Along with this message, Kool Aid ends with Jim Jones’ speech where he claims the cult used “the holy spirit” as they “entered into the paranormal”, leaving listeners with a powerful message of how even the most ridiculous of things can be explained as though they’re valid. Speech is persuasive, don’t believe everything you hear.

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