The world’s greatest reviewers – and this is not up for debate – were Beavis And Butthead. They sat on their settee and decided within seconds whether things were “cool” or “sucked” and that was all you needed.
When music got so pretentious and full of itself, I don’t really know, but it has. I got myself involved in a Twitter exchange with someone the other day who claimed the point of a review was to “translate music”.
Maybe it’s me, but I’d struggle to take a eulogy that seriously, never mind a verse and chorus. I mean, we could analyse why I like something, but you might not and the fact is – at the risk of spouting clichés – it really is only rock n roll and you either like it. Or not.
It was a refreshing change, then to get an email from a band that said simply this: “I have attached a link, for your review consideration, to Fox Company’s new EP ‘Hot Trash’. It’s fast, fun rock and roll and a hell of a good time”
Kudos to Fox Company, they’ve cut through the bullshit perfectly. Because the paragraph above rather neatly explains the six songs on the EP.
Except for missing out one thing: it is absolutely brilliant. And I mean, genuinely stunning.
Fox Company are from Sydney. I know what you’re thinking: Aussie rock n roll, I know what this is gonna sound like. Err no you don’t. Because this does hard rock on its own terms, no one else’s.
In fact, in honour of Beavis and Butthead, if you had to pick one word for this, its “swagger.” And shit loads of it. Bassist Paul supplies grooves a go-go. That is evident from the second that “Electrified” kicks off, but also singer/guitarist Cal has a voice that roars, and that lead six stringer Blake – whatever he does in real life – was born to play guitar. Like some axe slinger of old, this boy has it.
Now, any old shit band can write one good song. Christ, even Shinedown had “Devour”, many bands go through careers without having one as good as “Euro Cake.” It struts, it stomps, it has a hook to kill for, and by the time the solo hits – something akin to Skid Row in 1989 – you are left thinking this is a band that ain’t interested in “translating” music, they’re far too busy enjoying it.
“All In” has a positively filthy groove, and a chorus that has harmonies that are beyond ebullient and there’s a bit in the hook where Cal sings this: “in for a penny, in for a pound. If you’re not here for love girl then don’t hang around” and between us, he sounds like love is the furthest thing from his mind.
“Every Little Thing” adds something that’s downright funky, like something “Pump” era Aerosmith would have knocked out for grins and “Higher” proves that the blues can still happily sound nefarious when it wants to.
The last one, “I’ll Get By” is classic rock done right. The key is in the harmonies, but the chorus sounds so catchy that it is a readymade, off the shelf anthem. Anyone who remembers the Little Angels (and I don’t know if the Scarborough boys made it to Sydney, so apologies to anyone who has no idea what I am talking about), as fondly as me, may well have found a band to cherish.
To cut to the chase, this might be the best new band I’ve heard in 2018. If we may invoke Beavis one more time with feeling, then this is cool and then some. Foxing hell, this “Hot Trash” is on fire.