Unless, the debut album from The Foxery sounds like anything but. Released last week via Spartan Records, there is a level of polished musicianship rarely heard from even the most seasoned professionals — let alone from a debut. The Louisville natives bring forth their brand of melancholic Indie Rock (with angst and atmosphere in abundance) that will have listeners chomping at the bit for more.
The album opens with the fiery ‘(In)ferno,’ a melodic maelstrom of epic proportions. The wall of sound erupts into a blaze whilst never losing its harmonious air — a solid opener that succeeds in fanning the early flames.
‘Broken Vessels’ picks up the flaming torch and runs with it. Melodic guitar licks and driving drums make way for tortured vocals that carry a distinct, poetic tinge — an altogether high-energy output that ends a bit too abruptly.
‘The Sorrow’ opens with spoken word poetry that adds to the already abundant diversity. The morose and the melancholy unite in a kind of morbid matrimony that perfectly accentuates the air of sorrow and despair. The instrumental passages mirror those of The Cure via Disintegration coupled with a heaviness that balances the two — as well executed as it is cathartic.
The rest of the album presses on in a manner that continues to blur genre lines and defy categorization. Just when you think you’re beginning to wrap your head around The Foxery and their sound, you’re bombarded with sonic curve balls that you weren’t expecting, and this is definitely a good thing.
With so much nuance and subtlety at play, there are levels of depth on Unless that will require multiple listens to even begin to grasp with a modicum of competency, and while this complexity may go over the heads of many, if you decide to stay the course, you will be rewarded with a lush listening experience unlike anything in recent memory. If one were to nitpick, a good number of tracks are on the shorter side, but, as far as negatives go, it’s easy to overlook in the grand scheme of things.
Ultimately, Unless is the cream and the crop, and The Foxery are masters of both. It isn’t often that an album grabs its audience by the seat of their collective pants and holds them there to completion, but that is precisely what this album has the capacity to do. In short: The Foxery don’t fox around.