Sunday 15 June 2014

Foxhound - In Primavera

Album review by KevW for

Despite so many bands and musicians making classic records and achieving huge success while in their teens or barely into their 20s, (The Beatles, Kate Bush, Brian Wilson...), it can still be surprising when you learn just how young some genuinely accomplished and inventive groups are. The members of Italian band Foxhound were all born in 1992 and are already on their second album, one that's mightily impressive, mature and teeming with ideas. The four-piece seem to be in the habit of naming albums after certain events in their life: 2012 debut 'Concordia' was named in tribute of the shipping tragedy that struck their country, and the follow-up, 'In Primavera' is in honour of their appearance at Barcelona's Prmavera Sound Festival last summer.

Hot-footing it from one sound to the next, Foxhound show not only a diversity in style between different songs, but a non-formulaic approach to individual tracks too. 'Fitness' switches from an ornate and atmospheric intro, through to a slow, alt-rock section before changing to a stomping groove that's not far from The Rapture when they were in their pomp. This dance – almost disco in fact – element is taken further on the hit-shaped 'Erase Me' with its quite lovely backing vocals; it's touches like this that give the band an extra advantage that so many indie/dance crossover acts lack. The bassline to 'Out' could have graced any classic funk or disco tune, but here it's used in a more experimental fashion that avoids the polish and kitsch that could arise from such musical ingredients. They even add flashes of modern dub to the funky 'I Just Don't Mind', further playing around with sounds they've absorbed on their travels, bringing in a scorching squall of guitar for even more colour. 'I Don't Want To Run Today' also borrows from dub and funk, with intricate beats and bursts of brass that come and go as the song meanders along, even breaking for a rapped section. It's as though they've been blending guitar music with other genres all their lives.

Some kind of credit should be given for naming a song 'Summer Yeast'; it seems to have little connection to the lyrics, so someone has an interesting imagination. This is another with single potential and it goes without saying that it gives pigeon-holes a wide berth, flitting about but never losing cohesion. Imagination is as evident on 'Stars (Anytime That You Want To') as any tune here, with their familiar groove being interrupted by blasts of harsh noise and gradually slowing down to a plod and ending abruptly. Afrobeat manages to creep into the more pensive 'That's The Sky' where it collides with math-rock and vocals that are almost spat out; it's another curious but surprisingly successful combination. When they slow it down, as on the string-laced 'Gasuli', they have equal success and still maintain a certain uniqueness. The signs were there on opening track 'All Alone On My Own': with a deliberately distant-sounding intro disguising a deep groove, it never sounded as though this was going to be a conventional indie record, and ending with a song called 'My Life is So Cool' just about sums up Foxhound. These are four very talented young men with an entire world of music to explore, and on 'In Primavera' they do just that. This is both fun and bursting with ideas, it's no wonder they're happy to admit they're enjoying themselves.

Foxhound's website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album

Catch them live:

July 10, 2014 - By Ambria zogno (BG) @ Ambria Music Festival
July 14, 2014 - Bologna @ Another Festival (w / The Dandy Wahrols, The Horrors)
July 15, 2014 - Segrate (MI) Another @ Festival (w / The Dandy Wahrols, The Horrors)
20 July 2014 - Marina Di Ravenna (RA) @ Hana-Bi
July 23, 2014 - Padua @ Radar Festival
July 27, 2014 - Brescia @ Musical Zoo Festival
August 3, 2014 - Pederobba (TV) @ Pedepalooza Festival
August 30, 2014 - Ponte A Cappiano (FI ) @ Mangiomusica Festival

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