This is a split 12” of truly international proportions, Foxes are from Perth, Australia, Iselia are from Lumberton, America and its being released on Dog Knights Recordings from the UK, it’s a coming together of like minds, the “screamo” community if you will, again showcasing how friends can be made from faraway places, and all because of shared ideals and music.
I first came across Foxes (and Iselia actually) because of trust. I was buying some records from my favourite label (Dog Knights Productions) and noticed that the Foxes EP was up for pre-order, and as I know that Darren, who runs Dog Knights has pretty much exactly the same music taste as me, I decided to buy it, without listening to a single song, when the record arrived I was so glad I did, a little bit of trust goes a long way sometimes.
This split release is a concept album of sorts. It’s based around a depressed middle aged man who is on the verge of suicide, he then starts to be “visited” by his loved ones, both past and present in his dreams. These dreams take him back to his childhood in the hope that he won’t end his life. It’s an interesting idea and I’ve never been much of a fan of concept albums but the music on show here is fantastic.
Foxes music is similar to LA Dispute and Mewithoutyou, spoken, shouty (I like to call it shout talk) lyrics backed with catchy riffs , but the vocals are at the forefront of the music here, always prominent, they stand out from anything else, an emotional message exploding into your ears.
Foxes take up the first side of this record and contribute three songs, the first being a short introduction, then the familiar Foxes sound appears on the second track ‘Hollow Nest’ and then they change directions with a mammoth twisting and turning thirteen minute track called ‘Withered Eyes Through a Fractured Pane’, this is a welcome change of direction and to the songs credit, it doesn’t feel like a thirteen minute epic, this is a must hear, for a hardcore/screamo/whatever band to do something like this shows that there is still progression and innovation out there.
The song starts off fast, it doesn’t mess about and gets straight into things, guitars are everywhere, lyrics are coming at you from all angles, it has moments of calm as you can only expect in such a beast of a song. It doesn’t sound like several songs put together either which is common in such long songs, it has separate distinct parts, but they flow into each other really nicely and the vocals are emotional and passionate throughout.
Foxes three songs on show here prove that not only are they a very exciting and promising new band, but also that they have the bollocks to try things and do things a little bit differently, it’s about time and it works, really well! Look out for these boys in the future.
Iselia take up the other side of this record and again provide three songs for this release. Their musical style is more post hardcore and screamo crossed with post rock, lots of gentle builds ups with uplifting crescendos and fierce screamed vocals.
Iselia’s three songs are a more standard length on this release, no thirteen minute mammoths sadly, but the three songs that are on this record are all excellent. The songs weave and snake along, quiet sections leading into the chaotic bits and then back again to the quiet bits before ending on a massive high!
The concept of the middle aged man is on show quite distinctly on ‘Collective’ with the lyric, “What I’ve done, who I am, what is yet to come”, it’s actually quite a haunting lyric when put into context with the story, is he thinking this just as he’s about to kill himself? Or is somebody in his dream telling him this? Reminding him of his worth and worth to come.
The EP ends with ‘Standstill’ which involves a piano and makes the song sound very reflective, again as if the middle aged man is looking back on his life and deciding what to do, an important decision! The song ends with a sample of a children’s toy which I can only assume is a childhood memory of the man, it’s a good way to end things and rounds the EP off nicely.
Iselia’s part of this split is excellent, 3 solid songs showcasing what they do best, winding, emotional songs that take you on a journey and tell you a story.
This release is excellent, two newish bands combining around one story to produce a fantastic EP!
The record is available to order over at Dog Knights Productions right now on various amazing looking colours with beautiful artwork, give it a listen and give it a buy!
Follow us on twitter to keep in touch with new reviews/interviews and much more! TWITTER!