Phox – s/t debut [album review]

by Woody on June 23, 2014


I got to be honest. I don’t think I would have been that down with Phox if it wasn’t for seeing them open up for Blitzen Trapper last summer. There’s no denying the vocal chops of Monica Martin but I could see the jackass in me easily dismissing it as a pretty girl with a nice voice and no real substance to the music. But watching them at Lincoln Hall was intoxicating. The five fellas backing Martin dazzled that night as they wove an intricate background for Martin to do her thing; showing restraint where necessary and ramping it up when needed. Jefe and I were slack-jawed as they effortlessly moved through their set. It was like watching the Spurs pick apart the Heat.

One year later, they’re on one of my favorite labels, Partisan Records and have themselves quite the tasty debut album. Shirk has been preaching musical space to me since the day I met him. Phox does it about as good anyone out there. They could easily clutter up their mid-tempo folk with all sorts of fancy instruments but they know where their bread is buttered. But while Martin might be why you tune in, listening to this on a quality sound system, you soon realize that she needs them just as much as they need her.

This is a gem of an album that belies their young age with their musical sophistication. The three song run in the middle of the album- Slow Motion, 1936 and Evil is about as good as you’ll get. And if you enjoy this album, even half as much as I do, I implore you to go see them live. That is quite the experience. Check out that Take Away Show below. It is outrageously good.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Phox is here



Upon seeing Phox last year, I described them as the pretty girl in high school being backed by members of the jazz club. In this instance, the pretty girl – Monica Martin – sings like an angel. The lead single is a tune called Slow Motion. And if you think it sounds good here, it sounds even better live. Their s/t debut will be out on 6/24 via the fine folks of Partisan Records. Get excited for this album and to see them live.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Phox is here.


Blitzen Trapper – VII [album review]

by Woody on October 7, 2013


Presumably named after George Constanza’s child, Seven, their new album has them revisiting their 2008 album, Wild Mountain Nation, for inspiration. Still cranking out their own brand of Americana, VII sees some funky elements included as well.

Heck, the album’s lead track Feel The Chill begins like a Beasties track before Earley leads them on a slice of rambling Americana. The second track, Shine On. sees the band joined by gospel singer, Liz Vice, giving the track nice texture as Earley’s voice blends real nice his Vice’s. Earth (Fever Called Love) starts off sounding like a Gayngs track and then drifts into something off some early Beck records. Its a quirky tune that has become my favorite track on the album.

Still at the heart of all that is good about Blitzen Trapper is Earle’s ability to spin a yarn. Ever Loved Once and Thirsty Man and paint such vivid pictures that you feel like you were there when Earley penned the vocals

Blitzen Trapper will be at Lincoln Hall tonight along with Phox. If you haven’t seen Blitzen Trapper, I suggest you remedy that tonight as their shows never disappoint.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Blitzen Trapper is here.

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Phox – Slow Motion and Blue & White

by Woody on September 18, 2013


Phox is a seven-piece outfit consisting of seven friends from Wisconsin. They have been getting a fair amount of buzz as of late. Much like Lucius, I can’t decide what I think of these guys. But then I can’t stop checking out their videos on YouTube. Anyway, the gal who sings lead vocals reminds me Cold Specks. I slept on Cold Specks for too long so I guess I don’t want to make that mistake again.

They are opening up for Blitzen Trapper on Oct. 7th at Lincoln Hall. I look forward to seeing them live to get a better feeling for them. Check out videos and let me know what you think.

You can follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa