I have a pretty methodical way of listening to a shitton of new music. While it's fragmented/regimented and fucking OCD as hell, it has served me and SYFFAL pretty well over the past three years. I stopped playing favorites over two years ago, and I treat every chance I have to sit alone for a half hour or more as an opportunity to be blindly introduced to a band or artist with absolutely no bias. I get in the truck, or merely plug the Fuck in, and start where I left off, in playlists organized by date of receipt, and I listen until I either love something or I hate something.
This puts music into a sort of literary perspective, as I'm not judging anyone based on the cover, or the band name, or if I've heard something from them before. I'm just offering up my holes for penetration. If I'm pollinated, I'm going to do everything in my power to scream from the fucking hills that I was touched. If I'm moved in the other direction, I just keep shit moving bro, I ain't a hater bro. Haters are bitches because they think their negative opinions matter when in fact the only energy that has actual potential is positive. That might sound metaphysical, and it is, but remember I will reference my genitals as soon as possible to skew your opinion of me because I'm not the focus here bro.
Phox is a band that my asshole friend Jeremy suggested to me last year, and it started an obsession that I've been nurturing for about six months. Phox are impossible to pigeonhole (not code, but I'd totes pigeonhole a few of these musicians bro) as far as genre, but holy Fuck are they afuckingmazing. And while I kept mentioning "the potential" of this band when discussing who I was listening to lately, I wasn't necessarily touching on anything specific as far as a certain song or lyric or bridge or chorus, because when I thought on Phox, I thought on the potential. I thought of what they were capable of in the same way I had experienced Alabama Shakes, as I listened and enjoyed myself sure, but what I heard didn't stop with what was right the Fuck in front of me, I heard the future. I heard what they weren't yet.
I saw in Alabama Shakes, and vocalist Brittany specifically, a fucking force. A feeling. This monstrous emotional connection with not just me, but with the power of music. As fruity as that shit sounds, I didn't care that I was sort of looking through Alabama Shakes to what I imagined they would be to millions of other music fans soon. And then a few weeks ago I woke my wife up crying as Brittany fucking murders the stage alongside Elton John and Mavis Staples at the Grammys, and then I fucking knew exactly what I was thinking back when me and Tom were watching Alabama Shakes at the Hideout in Chicago. I finally saw other people seeing what I saw even when I couldn't yet see it, because it wasn't actual yet. It was just a feeling I held on to just above my testicles.
But then here's Phox.
Confetti by PHOX from Elder on Vimeo.
I looked through Phox after my initial fascination calmed down. I didn't care to listen to their old album because I didn't want to sour this idea that I would soon be looking on, as a sort of proud parent, as they brought other people to tears while I watched. I knew there was something they hadn't shared with us yet, but I didn't necessarily know how the shit would play out.
Would Phox turn in a direction where they'd sonically pinch their fanbase into an even smaller group, potentially alienating any chance of commercial success, if only to "keep shit real bro" bro? Would Phox take advice from some guy who made a few dollars with music on a Jiffy Lube commercial back in the late 90s and end up sucking dicks in the foyer of the ASCAP building down in Nashville? Would Phox produce something so vocally and instrumentally gorgeous that it would literally cause a balding white man with many many children to stop dead in the shower and say "holy shit" during the first spin of the album?
I shit you not, I poked my head out of the shower and looked at the little stereo I keep on the counter with this look of bewilderment and near shock. What the Fuck is this? I'm too far to read who it is on the display, but jesus balls on a tiltawhirl, this was physically fucking intoxicating. I didn't just feel it in my stomach and loins, where my 'music feels' normally reside, I felt it all over. My skin went cold under the hot water and I stood there, ever pruning, until all 6 tracks had passed. Confetti was what I had hoped for, all while being nothing I had ever imagined hearing out of anyone. Even for Phox, who have no grip on what a band is supposed to sound like because they don't fucking sound like any other band I listen to, this was like walking in on your significant other jacking off to a picture of you. It's that uplifting to your confidence, and empowering to your ego, and hell, it's spank bank fodder for the next few millennia.
The fucking vocals of Monica Martin transcend genres and decades, simply fucking playful and inherently somber, introspectively gleeful, they're unbelievably write in your journal personal and stare in the mirror introverted, but holy shit they're so fucking inspiring I can no nothing but obsess over them. The ease with which this broad throws her voice around is like nothing I've ever heard in someone so relatively young. You can picture her singing this shit to herself just as easily as you can imagine her singing this shit to herself on a stage in front of thousands.
The song Noble Heart might be my favorite song of 2013 so far, and I don't think anything else can pack so many different styles around it, all the while keeping my focus on Monica's throat. Seriously, when they return from the breakdown and shit gets all 50s? I WANT TO YANK MY PANTS UP OVER MY NIPPLES, BOUNCE SENSUALLY, AND FLICK FLAP THE LENGTH OF MY SEXUALITY WITH A MAROON STAPLER. Holy negative pregnancy tests batman. I love you strange beautiful lady from the internet in Wisconsin or as it is known, Wisconsinternet.
fucking Monica Martin bro.
She exudes that twirling under a single spotlight innocent perfection, yet she takes nothing away from the rest of her band.
Those responsible for the Phoxtrumentals are nothing short of fucking mesmerizing. As a guitar player myself I'm kind of jealous of these titsquirts. Imagine being in a band, and realizing who your singer is, and that she's your friend, and then imagine having the pleasure of witnessing her get her vocal swol on night after night. You're front row for this shit, but you're also controlling how awesome she can actually be.
Having been in too many bands to count, the one thing I've always appreciated about a capable vocalist is how they direct and contain the majority of the crowd energy, which allows the band to tighten up in response to that. We should be perfect for you, so you can be perfect for everyone else. Together? We're perf bro. But only together do we get to sound so cool when we say perf bro. So I'm more than slightly aware of the energy in this band, and it makes me moist in the most personal of places.
If I can call it now, I'd like to state for the record that Phox has the combination of vocal dominance and instrumental control that will take them out of my dreams and into my car bro.
The instruments being fingered, slapped and blown in Phox are impeccably patient, while at the same time being so incredibly intricate that it almost seems like they're intentionally dainty. Confetti is so beautifully orchestrated, even by itself it's a 10 star album. Seriously, the unexpected Queen-style guitar solo on Noble Heart made me two-handed-dump hot fucking coffee on my own crotch it's so Fuck yes.
The cups and claps galloping in the album opener, Slow Motion, is strange in that it sounds familiar, but the more you listen to it the more you wonder why gentle percussion isn't captured on a tabletop using disposable cutlery and the like more often. It's both inventive and thrifty bro. WHY ARE MORE BANDS WASTING MONEY ON INSTRUMENTS WHEN MOM HAS INSTRUMENTS IN DRY STORAGE BRO? Whether that's a fucking clarinet or the sound of my rubber soul on mescaline, it doesn't matter, it's a happy slow motion moment from a Facts of Life rerun, and it's fucking glorious.
The band behind Monica constantly proves they ain't no group o' slouches, and none more than on the exit track Sol Novum, which stands for Teenage Mutant Ninja Handjobs in Albanian. Gritty indie distortion leads you out of perhaps the most entertaining album of 2013, and it's almost like Monica had to pee really fucking bad so she left the boys to their own devices and here we're finally hearing them thwapping their dicks around the fucking room like they wanted to before she showed up.
If this is how this band ends Confetti, just fucking imagine how they're going to blow into the next one.
The amount of fucking potential that Phox has is almost as apparent as this erection I've been sporting for the past two weeks while cuddling with Confetti.
I want to keep fucking writing about Confetti, but I don't really want you knowing everything it means to me because some shit has to stay between me and Phox. Like that box of my body hair I had sent to them before they left for SXSW, but that was labeled as "road trip snacks". No one has to know I know they'll compost it bro. It's just part of our relationship bro.
If you don't buy this, I will consider it a personal affront to our relationship.
And do me a favor and watch this entire EP on video, and when you sniffle, know that I sniffled too. Phox is fucking magic. And cupcakes.