It’s natural to assume that bands like the Foxymorons will naturally fall under some sort of power pop banner, if for no other reason than there’s no other musical tag with which to readily identify them. Still, their sound and set-up defy any easy identification. Childhood friends David Dewese and Jerry James have maintained a reliable relationship that’s grown to encompasses five full-length albums and a musical soundscape that’s as elusive as their name implies. Their trajectory began, oddly enough, when the duo commenced recording with a quirky lo-fi 7-inch single entitled The Silver Leaves EP, a record which brought them initial attention and garnered positive notices from fans and tastemakers alike. Their recordings have never been easy to typecast, but if push comes to shove, they’re best described as a kind of grungy garage sound that owes a debt as much to Mott the Hoople, early Bowie and Johnny Thunders as it does to any modern music maker of similar stature.
The band’s latest opus, Fake Yoga continues to expand on the template established early on, but here again, it goes to great lengths to confound its listeners with lots of noise and feedback, a series of soundscapes that find static and songs competing for attention. The fuzzy tones of “Mixed Meds” (an appropriately suggestive title if ever there was one) and “Hugs/Drugs” affirm the raucous nature of their often delirious delivery, a restless musical montage that emphasizes noise over nuance. The liner notes — a combination of lyrical ideas and maniacal meditation — refer to topics that provide their muse: Richard Hell vs. Woody Allen, day jobs that compel one to watch the clock, running from “kops and kanines” (their spelling, not ours) and a tendency to part one’s hair on the same side without any deviation whatsoever. It may sound weird to the unawares, but such is the nature of the Foxymorons’ M.O. It’s little surprise then that the blend of pomp and power exhibited in a song like “Later, Alligator” further affirms those aforementioned glam rock references.
Ultimately, the Fake Yoga handle makes some sense, even if one has to theorize about its meaning. These are not contemplative mediations by any means, and to suggest there’s any sort of stability here would be giving you, the reader, an entirely false impression. If that’s a requirement, then the listener will be sorely disappointed. That then is what they must have meant by labelling this “fake” yoga, the implication being that the music is so jittery and jarring, there’s practically no way to sit still. Which is of course absolutely fine. The best rock ‘n’ roll has always been unsettling. And on that score, the Foxymorons most certainly prove they’re both cool and competent.