Foxing – Nearer My God - 2018 EMO Indie Rock - Gold Vinyl 2LP
Foxing – Nearer My God
Triple Crown Records – 032161
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Gold w/ Bone White Splatter
Gold with bone white splatter vinyl, 3,500 copies pressed. Includes download card and gatefold jacket with printed inner sleeves.
10 Aug 2018
Emo, Indie Rock
A1 Grand Paradise
A3 Lich Prince
B2 Nearer My God
B3 Five Cups
C2 Trapped In Dillard's
D1 Crown Candy
D2 Won't Drown
"It was after that van crash that Chris Walla, the former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist who himself was grasping for a new identity after leaving the band he’d played in his entire adult life, reached out to the St. Louis five-piece to offer his help. It marked the beginning of a fruitful working relationship, which - in keeping with the band’s unlikely story - began with a cover of Dido’s ‘White Flag’ and culminates, for now at least, in Nearer My God, an album that burns with near-maniacal ambition. Maybe the incident with the van was supposed to happen; after all, Walla was the perfect fit, with his own storied history of knowing when it’s time for a band to put aside their anxieties and follow their nose. He nurtured his former group’s ascension from a lo-fi, Built to Spill-influenced outfit to indie rock titans with a panoramic musical outlook, and he helped Tegan and Sara go from spiky rockers to glossy, dance-infused pop purveyors. When The Decemberists were setting about the improbable feat of becoming one of America’s bigger indie outfits whilst writing songs deeply in thrall to old English folk tales, it was Walla at the helm for the likes of Picaresqueand The Crane Wife.
Now, he’s helped Foxing face their fears and make an album that continues in the great tradition of third LPs that truly define the musicians who made them, like OK Computer, Source Tags and Codes or Relationship of Command. Since their inception, Foxing have consistently been characterised as an emo band at the crest of the genre’s latest wave, but like …And You Will Know Us by the Trail or Dead or At the Drive-In did with those aforementioned records, they have made a mockery of the idea that they can be pigeonholed here. Opener ‘Grand Paradise’ simmers with nervous energy - at least until the 1:40 mark, when Murphy screeches about being “shock-collared at the gates of heaven” over the thumping drop of the drums. Two songs later, on ‘Lich Prince’, they don’t sound like the same band; suddenly, they’re masterfully turning their hand to Deftones-esque drop-tuned atmospherics with Murphy growling about post-collegiate angst.
On the title track, everything is suddenly skyward, with the guitars spiralling and the vocals soaring in a manner that conspires to produce what sounds like it would’ve been a shoe-in to soundtrack a John Hughes film if he was still around. There’s a different, grin-inducing flourish on every song here; the intertwining vocal melodies on the fists-in-the-air ‘Bastardizer’, the cavernous percussion that runs through ‘Heartbeats, the dramatically pretty left turn that the interpolation of strings represents on ‘Won’t Drown’. The centrepiece, meanwhile, is ‘Five Cups’, which can be taken as being nine-minute shorthand for the overall level of sheer audacity on Nearer My God; a lament of lost friends, it somehow finds the perfect middle ground between ambience and menace.
Foxing are a band who have been sent a great many things to try them and yet, perhaps the biggest obstacle they’ve had to overcome to produce an album of this calibre was placed in their way by themselves. They had to believe that bold was best, and that ambition is never a dirty word when creativity of this level lies on the other side of it. Nearer My God is daring, flamboyant and consistently thrilling. It won’t make Foxing the biggest band in the world, but it probably should." ( drownedinsound)