Thursday, October 25, 2018

Album Review: Foxing - Nearer My God

Nearer My God
**and1/2 out of *****

The St. Louis Missouri based Foxing have put together a large sprawling effort with their third full length album Nearer My God which looks to push them out of their emo digs into larger surroundings.

The band, Conor Murphy, E.M. Hudson, Enrique Sampson, Jon Hellwig, never hold back throwing all sorts of sounds and experiments into the twelve tracks presented here. Co-produced by former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, the album does not continue the groups emo sound structure, but tries to hold onto to the feeling through more instrumentation and daring musical pairings.

The majority of the tracks work with an electronic digital beat that is paired with either a piano or some other motif and then slowly incorporates more instrumentation layers of vocals and soaring sounds as the track progresses. Opener "Grand Paradise" starts this journey in that fashion with hand claps before a big swelling and the pattern continues through "Trapped in Dillard's" and "Won't Drown".

The group has a plan and executes it with the light percussion and digital bass around falsetto singing on "Slapstick" which successfully adds clashing rhythms upping the stakes while "Gameshark" less successfully overloads on the digital bleeps hitches and skittering sound. "Heartbeat" starts with strings and horns only for those to be exorcised early as the track forms into full on dance track with digital beats.

The two most straight ahead tracks here are the title offering with it's arena ready ringing guitars and "Bastardizer" which uses acoustic strums as a foundation. Both of these though manage to still go above and beyond with instrumentation though as "Near My God" incorporates looping digital twinkles/pulses and "Bastardizer" uses bagpipes to augment the sound.

"Five Cups" is the true centerpiece of the album though, the almost ten minute track is cinematic in scope using yells, digital undercurrents, backward tapes, layers of vocals and even French Horns. The overriding feeling from this focal point track and the album in general is a searching feeling, but one that never truly connects or delivers any emotional release or delivery. 

The band is opening up their sonic palette but nothing here is much hear, or stands out form the digitally pulsing mood album. Closer "Lambert" comes closets to breaking through the electro haze, but the new wave rocker losses steam as the album wraps up. An interesting full album listen but one that does not pack the desired punch to elevate the collective effort.
Support the band, buy the album, stream it below or on bandcamp and peep some video:

1 comment:

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