I like Zox. These boys have spunk. They rock when they need to rock, they’ve got the tender side that makes the ladies swoon, they’ve got a violin player that plays parts that sound like they’re actually meant for the violin (are you listening, Yellowcard?), and they occasionally employ the sorts of harmonies that give music theory geeks (and Ben Folds Five fans) goosebumps. The Wait is the latest effort from Zox, and they’re trying, gosh darnit, to experiment with their sound a bit—they do some kind of wacky, wavy thing with their guitar in “A Little More Time”, and closer “I Am Only Waiting” takes a stab at ethereal atmosphere with a backbeat—but neither is pulled off with all that much success. No, Zox does much better when they make simple, catchy little pop songs like the vaguely punky “Thirsty”, “Better If It’s Worse” (which at times sounds a bit like early U2), or the incredibly lovely ballad “Anything But Fine”, which is bound to make the top 10 list of just about any melodramatic teenage music geek that happens to discover it. Happily, The Wait sees Zox concentrating mostly on the pop tendencies that the band is best at, resulting in an album that’s poppy, likable, and easy to listen to. Energy is all they need for now—the art can wait. The Wait is a fun little album; at least, it’s fun when Zox isn’t trying too hard.
// Notes from the Road
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