Foxes! a review of the eponymous debut LP

Foxes! is a four piece band based in Brighton – England, with an EP released in April 2011 – The Panda Bear Song, they have nestled in to the South Downs after migration from Oxford and have their debut LP, an eponymous 12 track coming out on 10th January 2011.



Sometimes while I write about music, I wonder, should I be doing something else, then I am drawn back in to the shell of the cochlea and it all makes sense.

Opening with Aisle No. 3 ,  this plaintiff cry rings around from all self-service stores around the world. You queue, you pay, you are but a ticking clock, a slave to the system – ‘wait in line before we let you proffer your money’, which will be scrutinised. Brief and to the point, more than that, a sharp and direct composition – I think I am trying to say, I danced around the room in joy at the opening track – I am not the only one who feels the abhorrence, humour and sheer despondency of the consumer society, so desperate to pay, it waits as cannon fodder to permit the retailer to take the money.

We follow with The Panda Bear Song, which strikes a higher tempo and Foxes! permit themselves their home ground. A strong lyric is traversed by scything guitar, like the Eigerwand classic routes – scarred ice ravines, yet fresh every day – The lyric refocuses the angst, all over in just over 2 minutes.

6 O’ Clock – Here we are rushing to a dead-line. Scintillating vocal floats above a high octave guitar. I feel myself drawn out to a birds-eye view of the railway stations, the fantasy of ‘tonight will be better’ as the commuters head home.

Welcome To The Jivin’ finds Foxes! offering a new perspective, as the band permits themselves space to explore interpolation between personal relationship against a back-drop of advertising jingles. The track has time to evolve and the listener finds the band delivering a tight and accessible number and  we find that the band has some really interesting  and evolving spaces to explore .

Oh Rosie – We have bass, depth and humour, quite different to the early part of the album, these guys can put heart and soul together in addition to angst, not to mention up-tempo.

Half-way through the LP finds It’s Ridiculous, Adam -  The contrasts on this track make it an ear bender, as the vocal drops half an octave whilst the beats ratchet higher, but the whole pitch drops. This is a superb track which showcases the musical abilities of the artists.

Alex Badamchi  you just feel obliged to ask Alex who? Some smart time shifts sees the band becoming a performing circus and a marching band.  Instruments explode through the speakers whilst the vocal mourns, scorns and hates.

Who Killed Rob? introduces a dual vocal  and some less frenetic energy. I am not convinced this is the best track on the album, shoegaze?

Now we dance back with the delightful A Letter To A Mine , which has the band in superb form, as they range between dance-a-thon and far more depth of theatrics with classical resonance. Yet the listener is drawn to follow as the progressions are faultless.  This is the pick of the album.

Heading towards the conclusion - Descartes finds the band on a similar musical construction, whilst the vocal pursues the philosophical reflections you would anticipate from the René referencing. I really enjoy tracks like this, but sometimes wonder if they are set as a conundrum to the listener to prove an intellectual point, rather than to elucidate.

The penultimate track - Art Girl – I sort of feel the title sets the theme of the album. Whilst the artists are talented, I wonder whether they are spending too much time sneering at the world, which can spill over to the listener also. A group of talented musicians and superb lyrics flow through the release, but it all seems a little superior, which is a shame, as in essence I really enjoyed the release, let’s see how the final track pans out.

Apples To Apples is the conclusion, a reprise and extremely clever. I was smiling through the whole track, well all 1:45 of it.

Foxes! has the essential elements of a great novel, the introduction intrigues and the whole album gathers pace and depth as the listener flows with the tracks. Is it too clever for it’s own good? I fear so, but please keep throwing this out to the world Foxes! as it is sublime.

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