by Daniel Hill
19. Foxing – Dealer (Triple Crown, 2015)Solid praise! Now how about The Albatross? Briana Younger writes:
Foxing’s debut The Albatross felt like a literal shock to the system, a defibrillator for broken hearts. Relief doesn’t come much more immediate than screaming, “SO WHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY don’t you love me back” at Conor Murphy, to say nothing of “I’M NOT WAVING, I’M DROWNING” or “SHE SAYS ‘YOU DON’T LOVE ME YOU JUST LOVE SEX.’” But while the crowds got to go home and move on, Foxing had to relive this stuff nearly every single night for two years. Dealer certainly seemed like it went out of its way to preemptively deny such easy catharsis—drums would go silent for long stretches, the lyrics and arrangements were far more ornate and dense, there’s about nine total minutes of instrumental string interludes and all of it was given a cool, sapphire polish by post-rock maven Matt Bayles. Yet Dealer managed to be even more raw and vulnerable than The Albatross, working with the kind of dark matter excavated after years of therapeutic process rather than a night of heavy drinking: the psychosexual trauma of Catholic upbringings, survivor’s guilt, abortion, the emotional toll of reliving your darkest secrets night after night and bassist/songwriter Josh Coll’s PTSD from serving in Afghanistan. While The Albatross was way too over-the-top for some, thankfully the five members of Foxing were the only ones who said, “not emo enough” and dug deeper.
Riverfront Times readers have been hip to Foxing for some time — the band was named a "Heavy Hitter" in this week's inaugural STL-77 issue, won an RFT Music Award in 2014 for "Best Emo/Post-Hardcore" and was the subject of a cover story in late 2015 around the release of Dealer. It is good that the larger music world is taking notice of its considerable impact as well.
9. Foxing – The Albatross (Count Your Lucky Stars, 2013)
As a concept album, The Albatross is burdensome and brimming with guilt, anguish and cogent references to water. Conor Murphy’s vocals have the desperation of someone drowning, and the backbone of someone refusing to let themselves be submerged. Foxing’s debut is bolstered by a single song that embodies the genre fusion that the band does best: “Rory” is all screaming melodrama and unrequited love, but a proud trumpet and a haunting piano melody mold it into something transcendent. The Albatross is littered with similar instrumental and stylistic ticks—the Broadway-ready arrangement on “Bloodhound,” the divine harmonies of “Quietus”—for a result that, much like the sea, can’t be contained.