Words About Music
Foxing “The Albatross”
If you’re on this website reading this review and you don’t know what “emo” is then you probably don’t browse this site very often. I don’t think I’m going to explain it this time because at this point it would just be redundant explaining emo’s backstory and how far it’s come since then. Just know that it’s a genre I like and it’s made a huge comeback the past few years, with labels like Count Your Lucky Stars and Topshelf Records at the forefront.
One of emo’s rambunctious new upstarts is a group called Foxing from St. Louis, MO, and they’re currently signed to Count Your Lucky Stars. When they’re not performing Neutral Milk Hotel cover sets in the St. Louis area, they’re recording their own sad mysterious music. “The Albatross” is their full length debut and it’s certainly one of the most compelling emo performances I’ve heard all year, and probably one of the most beautiful emo records since The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die’s “Whenever, If Ever.” The group combine emo and post-rock in a way that isn’t kitschy, nor is it “crescendo-core” like some bands have been derisively called. In a wave of Bandcamp emo bands that is in full swing, it’s hard to stick out, and Foxing are one of the more refined groups in this wave. The production is perfect for this sound, the lyrics are relatable and delivered with the emotion from which the very genre gets its name, and the album itself is a true testament to the 90s Midwest sound without being too much of a tribute.
“The Albatross” is not a very lengthy album, nor is it the most original album in the whole wide world, but it is fun to listen to in ways that emo albums tend to be. I enjoy the soft guitar leads and the wonderfully performed drum rhythms as well as the vocals. Although Foxing are a year or so into their career, that is about 5 emo years, so I hope they don’t break up any time soon. “The Albatross” shows quite a bit of promise, and with perhaps a little more experimentation they could become a really important emo group.
Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying what I am hearing here. The climax on “Rory” is breathtaking, the instrumentation is flawless, and the album’s length is perfect for anyone who wants to try an emo record but not an overlong one. And yes, the horns are a nice touch. But soon the day will come when certain emo bands will be mocked because maybe they sound a little bit too much like a different one. Hell, just look at the fan base’s hatred for groups like Dads and Old Gray. I just don’t want to see another band treated like that in a scene that has been generally supportive and trusting. “The Albatross” is a great record and I am excited to hear more from Foxing, for better or for worse.
SCORE – 8.1
FAVORITE TRACKS – Bloodhound, Inuit, The Medic, Rory, Bit By a Dead Bee Pts I and II, Den Mother, Calm Before, Quietus