Foxygen could easily be compared to the sound of The Zombies waking up in bed with the Velvets, Stones, Kinks and ___________________ (insert any major influential band of yesteryear). Where other bands have failed to mimic the past so blatantly as this young California via Brooklyn band has done, they succeed with grand, classic pop measures on “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic”.
This is due largely in part to producer Richard Swift, who has helped release / produce some of the better pop records I’ve heard being made in the last 3-4 years by Matt Hopper, Mynabirds, Damien Jurado and others. The modern day sound architect is also a recent part-time player in the revamped Shins lineup, though the work he’s done for himself and others is leaving a larger imprint.
It helps that Foxygen came to Swift’s table with pop songs most bands would die to wake up and write, with a producer to handle them the right way. Lyrical flashes of Dylan, Reed, and Malkmus dosed with enough venom, humor, attitude, and nonsense flow throughout Sam France and Jonathan Rado’s compositions which helps set the young musical thieves apart from their peers.
“We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic” is loaded with snide one liners and melodic hooks that’ll loop around your subconscious for days. Try to locate the influences on “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic,” they’re there. Everything from psychedelic blues to British pop, American folk, soul, swagger, sex, religion and 90’s lo-fi indie are tossed in the blender for good measure.
In lesser hands, these songs might not come off as anything else than highway robbery and copyright infringements. In the hands of Richard Swift’s musical genius, Foxygen has made one of the best records of 2013 released so far. “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic” is a complete 36 minute pop-treasure-testament to the past that also serves as another loud declaration of Swift’s musical talents as a producer, composer, and 21st century pop historian. However Foxygen establishes their own identity might not be so important with records under their belt as strong as this.
Lastly and once again. Eat my d!ck, Rockford, IL.
AW | Andy Whorehall
Andy Whorehall (SM)
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