Foxes! - Foxes!
Who would have thought that a cassette tape (yes it was that long ago) given away free with a weekly music inkie (the NME since you ask) would still hang like the proverbial albatross around the necks of any band daring enough to jangle rather than rock? Any vaguely twee band with cute, usually but not predominantly, female vocals are casually dismissed with the accusation that they're little more than C86 revivalists. If they can body swerve that they open themselves up to the charge that they're Sarah Records fellow travellers.
On their self titled debut album Foxes! don't really help themselves. They jangle more than a wind chime factory in a hurricane, they have more than the requisite quantity of cute, female vocals and a track called 'The Panda Bear Song'. They even include a song about breaking down in tears when a friend said he'd vote for Borderville in the battle of bands ('Alex Badamchi'). They couldn't be more twee if they wrapped themselves in Cath Kidson wallpaper and performed at a Laura Ashley garden party.
But it's not all fun, sun, cherryade and summer dresses in the world of Foxes!. 'Who Killed Rob' may sound sweeter than a honey coated barley sugar twist but it's a tale of a cyclist being knocked down. 'It's Ridiculous, Adam' is Lesley Gore's tear jerker 'It's My Party' re-imagined for the 21st century, a wedge of casio pop that'll have your feet dancing while your heart breaks. The album's final track 'Descartes' includes references to headstones, drowning, suicide, canine anal cancer and dying goldfish. Not even miserable old Morrissey dared to write lyrics about anal cancer, or dying goldfish come to think of it!
What sets these cunning canids apart from their twee compadres is that they don't stick rigidly to the suffocating twee template. 'Oh Rosie' is a frantic rockabilly pace setter that rocks like it's life depends on it before reaching an anthemic climax. 'Welcome To The Jivin' starts off like a 1950s commercial before settling into a 1960s pure pop groove.
Don't be put off by the twee coating there is more to these cunning canids than meets the eye. From surprisingly dark subject matter to the occasional foray into rockier territory Foxes! is the first truly post-twee album. Now can we all forget C86 and set our bands free to be twee.
Purchase and listen
Tosta Mista is the second full length album from Canadians Hooded Fang and is also a Portuguese toasted Ham and Cheese Sandwich. The album is as simple as the aforementioned sandwich but sadly not as effective. It clocks in at just under twenty-three minutes with ten tracks to behold. For such a short album the band must follow the Pixies code of songwriting - a load of finely-tuned sprinters, assaulting the listener one after the other. [read more]
Prior to actually listening to <strong>Marble Valley’s</strong> new album release, I was excited to hear that this multi-national outfit included Pavement’s drummer, Steve West, appearing on vocals. As an avid admirer of Mr West’s previous antecedents, I had prepped myself into estimating that his new project would slip into a similar ilk to the 90’s Californian indie puritans. This was simply not the case. [read more]
FatCat record’s Brighton based sister label, Palmist are a beacon of principle in a sea of compromisers. They cling to vinyl in a digital world and they work with artists they love not those from whom they could make a quick buck. They’re made the way independent labels used to be made. After the idiosyncratic coupling of US Girls and Slim Twig their latest split 12” is a more complimentary affair. [read more]