Morrow vs. Hajduch: Noxious Foxes’ Légs

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Noxious Foxes: LégsNoxious Foxes: Légs 2xLP (Broth IRA, 7/26/11)

Noxious Foxes: “Doth Shalt Noth”

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Morrow: In the vein of Hella and other masterful duos that overachieve with layered loops and hot licks, Noxious Foxes is a pair of like-minded guitar/drums artists. The music, though technical, is rooted more in melody and groove than Hella — somewhere closer to Spencer Seim spinoffs The Advantage or sBACH if you were to further force the comparison.

Guitarist Justin Talbott pulls double duty with synths and electric pianos over the guitar loops, adding a tinge of the Blood Brothers aesthetic to the mix. (There isn’t a pair of sassy-as-fuck vocalists, however.) And the occasionally 8-bit-esque synths add to the video-game vibe that the guitars give off, making the Advantage comparison more apt, even if there are no Contra covers.

Hajduch: The spindly guitars of the first few tracks suggest the earlier work of Battles, but by the time “Bowflexcellent” settles into a stompy chord progression, Noxious Foxes starts suggesting a more anthemic take on this type of ADD instrumentalism. The final third of this track is a definite standout, playing stretched-out synth glissandos against a paired guitar attack and gradually mutating the meter of the riff.

Morrow: On the topic of “Bowflexcellent,” I’d like to mention the quality of song titles here. They’re not exceptionally brilliant, but it’s nice to see another instrumental band spend more than five seconds on a title. “Wherever Hugo, Guido” and “Illegal Beagle” are better than, say, “Waterfalls” or something. (No disrespect, TLC.)

“Lunge Array” is one of the most polyrhythmic songs on the album, but it always maintains a punchy quality and later comes together for a bluesy, stripped-back conclusion. Though there are no soaring Fang Island harmonies, Légs keeps that rock-riff appeal to balance out its challenging passages (think of a modernized Oxes).

Hajduch: Yeah, there’s not some big, huge, hooky riff that grounds this album, but there are lots of little pretty moments, like the fuzzy keyboard chords on “Honeymoon Express” hiding between two frantically drummed passages. The way the song ramps up and up before limping to a wobbly finish is something to behold.  If you like any of the bands mentioned above, or just enjoy it when people riff out over heavy drums, you’re going to like Légs.

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