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Being a band of relative anonymity, Foxing have broken the surface with The Albatross. Trying to take everybody with their finger on the pulse by surprise, Foxing, while having all the pieces in place: undeniable talent, the advantage of a genre just revived, and just enough originality to keep things interesting, still show signs of a young band. This record is an excellent first attempt, there is an inconsistency present that keeps it from being the perfect debut.
Beginning with gorgeous, building violins that prefix the introduction of soothing, deliciously injured vocals, the introduction is suitable. Foxing’s vocals possess a glass cutting clarity, but later on in the record the vocals seem to lose their gleam. At first, in ‘Bloodhounds,’ Foxing sound uncannily like the math rock masters themselves, Manchester Orchestra. However in ‘Inuit’ the record evolves into something more decidedly in emo territory, with light, sporadic and twinkly guitar and percussion work embellishing the now static-like muffled vocals.
Even so, there remains still that unmistakable strained whimper in the vocals of soft, simple tracks like ‘The Medic,’ and ‘Rory’, which evokes a whole lot of pain in every moment. The Albatross is subtle but somehow also evocative. ‘Bit by a Dead Bee’ parts I and II sees slow and calculated instrumental work invite the listener to fall under the spell Foxing casts with sounds as bewitching and entrancing as anything Dads or The World Is… have ever come up with.
‘Quietus,’ the final track on the record, seems to regain that bewitching clarity that the beginning of the record had going for it.
The Albatross is enchanting and unique in parts, proving that Foxing aren’t just another emo band. This isn’t just another emo record. Foxing clearly have the potential to stand out from the emo haze they drift in for most of the record, however for the majority of this album, they’re just choosing not to indulge. Not to say that Foxing don’t do the emo thing just as well as their more well known counterparts, it’s simply that excluding the first and last tracks there’s absolutely nothing to distinguish them from the rest.
3. The Medic
4. Pent up in a Blind
6. Bit By a Dead Bee pt. I
7. Bit By a Dead Bee pt. II
9. Calm Before