Foxing’s debut album puts the St. Louis quintet on the map as potentially one of the most interesting bands to come out of the rock scene, though it can’t be defined by one genre.
The Albatross blends features of genres including some math-rock instrumentals, alternative songwriting, and vocals that range from falsetto croons to post-hardcore yelling similar to Pianos Become the Teeth. With this variety, the entire album has a unique, refreshing feeling.
The core of The Albatross includes emotional vocals over catchy and complex instrumentals. The songs themselves can be playful or dark—or sometimes both—or simple and epic. Any way Foxing chooses to go, they never lose the underlying emotion that connects listeners to each song. The passionate vocals and lyrics heard throughout the album make it one to get attached to.
“The Medic” displays Foxing’s stellar mix of intricate talent and accessibility, with hooks that never let you go and provide a gateway to the band’s more alternative elements.
It’s not just great for fresh ears, though; fans of Foxing’s old music will also feel right at home, especially with the album’s most emotional and badass track, “Rory.”
It begins as a simple and slow, yet epic song with emotional vocals. It stands out most in the chorus, where singer Conor Murphy hums, “So why don’t you love me back?” until it explodes into one of the most epic songs ever written. You won’t be able to finish The Albatross without listening to this track again.
Foxing’s consistent use of brass and other non-traditional instruments gives the album an edge. Although horns and pianos play a major role in many of the songs, they feel strategic and important without stealing the show. The same applies to the central members of the band; although each boasts impressive musicality, nothing seems over the top or random.
Foxing is raising the bar for bands vaguely categorized as “indie” or “emo,” and even puts its name in the running with more progressive bands like HRVRD and La Dispute. The Albatross isn’t very lengthy (it only has eight full tracks and two interludes), but it gets the point across without including any unworthy songs. It comes in strong on the first half, and though the album does fizzle down a bit as it ends, it’s never less than a solid release.
One or two more songs on the same level as “The Medic” and “Rory” would have made The Albatross a contender for album of the year—perhaps in the future, Foxing can get that extra push toward greatness.
Foxing – The Albatross tracklist:
- “The Medic”
- “Pent Up in a Blind”
- “Bit By a Dead Bee Pt. 1”
- “Bit By a Dead Bee Pt. 2”
- “Den Mother”
- “Calm Before”