The St. Louis based four-piece Foxing have returned, combining the lyrical inspirations and motives of emo with the instrumentation and vocal style of the indie genre in an attempt to create what Chris Walla, the album’s producer, would hope to call a ‘classic’ album.
Kicking off the record is ‘Grand Paradise’, a track that like this album’s lead single ‘Slapstick’ also showcase this band’s ability to build a song dynamically. Starting with only a palm-muted guitar chugging the root note, sustained piano chords and percussive claps, the track explodes with full percussion as frontman Conor Murphy roars “I’m shock collared at the gates of heaven”, which opens up the track as a tonally dissonant, distorted guitar riff plays, bringing a Brand New resembling darkness to the track.
Murphy‘s effortless glides between chest voice and falsetto really help emphasise the relaxed feel that the reverberated guitars and droning synthesisers create during the introduction of ‘Slapstick’. This is contrasted by an explosion of chugged, distorted power chords from the lead guitar that along with the call-and-response backing vocals, the use of staccato brass backing, and a roaring vocal performance help to create an ‘Only Revolutions’ era Biffy Clyro sound.
‘Bastardizer’ is the closest thing to the band’s prior repertoire. The chorus effect on the rhythm guitar and Murphy‘s soothing vocal performance give this song an almost liquid effect and carries the first half of the track as a tambourine is used in the background. The use of bagpipes in the backing of this track really helps it to stand out amongst the album, the innovation working very well in its favour.
‘Nearer My God’ is an incredibly dark album. From the discords strummed in ‘Crown Candy’ to the haunting lyrical extracts from ‘Gameshark’; “Gainer from the balcony, swan dive into the concrete / They served venison and morphine, Nobel’d you for your good deeds”, this album is one littered with Christian messages and is bound to keep any listener on the edge of their seat.