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"U.S. Print Icecaves review"

Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, Foma's debut, Icecaves, has an old-school, indie pop sensibility. This Albuquerque, New Mexico quartet has perfected a coy, yet lustrous indie pop persona. True, the band might sound twee and altogether just too peppy, but that's all right since the melodies are so darn precious.
With their warm and friendly home-spun feel, it's not surprising that Foma seems a bit reminiscent of Beat Happening, especially with the emphasis on orchestral string instruments and Edward Burch's and Ariel Muniz's dueling male-femal vocals. Although the band might echo its early indie forebears stylistically, its members seem to have much stronger musical and vocal skills.
Tracks like "3D mansions" and "Message to the Interplanetary Hitman" are complicated looping rounds full of giddy melodies and sweetly sung vocals. The stripped "Home?" is a minimal acoustic filler that closes the album and, thereby, manages to minimize the pleasure of Foma's twee sensibilities. And then there's "Nice Dress, Asshole," the album's lone "rocker" and a surprisingly aggressive lunge with an emphasis on the cello, bringing to mind the Geraldine Fibbers Experience; a striking contrast to the rest of Icecaves, the song's biting title demonstrates that the wry, irreverent humor of early indie pop is intact. -Kim Newman - Venus Magazine

"UK Icecaves Review"

This is one of those albums that reels you in immediately and intrigues you. After hearing the first few bars of 3D Mansions, Foma’s infectious twee indie pop is already managing to bore its way into your head. Like an insanely happy Flaming Lips cum Belle and Sebastian, the falsetto suiting the jangly melodies down to a tee. The female vocalist, Ariel Muniz, has a particularly beautiful voice and interlinks with Edward Burch’s voice to great effect on tracks like ‘Junior’and ‘Rooftops’. These tracks manage to maintain the twee jangling melodies, but also present an intriguing intensity and tension between the two vocals, which often sink back down into acoustic strumming leaving the listener invariably smiling. The track ‘Scared’ relies on a piano and the stripped back vocals of Edward Burch sounding remarkably like Matt Bellamy of Muse, while the swooning string arrangement and drums slowly form in the background. Highly enjoyable album, full of changes of pace and twisting and turning melodies, a band with great ability and even greater potential. 8 out of 10

-Americana UK
- Americana UK

"Icecaves review"

Every time I listen to Foma's new release, Icecaves, it takes me back about 15 years. Not because it is stale or rehashed in anyway. In fact, it is just the opposite. Foma is as fresh and unique as anything to be released in the last year. It takes me back because I remember a time when bands like Foma and other truly unique voices in music were allowed a forum on the airwaves -- before the execs at clear channel and record labels figured out how to dig their hands into college radio. Foma is a radiant garage band with an album of 10 songs clocking in at just over 30 minutes. But even in their brevity the songs are dynamic and unique in their arrangement. Foma employs duel male and female vocals and keyboards, cellos, violins to create a playful, almost naïve sound. (Song titles like, "Message to the Interplanetary Hitman" and "Nice Dress, Asshole" keep the album coming across too naïve). At its best, on "Rooftops" and "Mormon Defense Squad," Foma's lo-fi guitars and female vocals that evoke Kristin Hersh and/or Tanya Donelly paint songs that are pure pop bliss. Rating: 7

-David Brecheisen

"Icecaves Review"

Traces of '80s electronica, modern underground and classical influences permeate Icecaves; from the start, you get the sense that the band's indie credibility runs deep. Taking their lead from an odd mixture of independent music from the late eighties and early nineties, Foma play off of the work of their influences to craft strangely familiar songs. "Rooftops" and "Sydney Smathers", for instance, have a Pavement-meets-Throwing Muses feel, while "Mormon Defense Squad" is a catchier Camper Van Beethoven, with Heather Trost's cello taking the lead. On "Message To The Interplanetary Hitman", Edward Bunch and bassist Ariel Muniz share vocal duties, a partnership that smacks of the Blake Babies and the Pixies. Strangely, all of this "sounds like" stuff only works to the band's advantage, helping to differentiate them from the modern mainstream masses.
On "Hitman", Bunch sings, "Who will shake their fist at the world / and tell me it's okay? / We're not dumb / but we're not free..." While it's sometimes politically irreverent, Foma's music is poppier than the work of their more famous Albuquerque brethren, The Shins -- but the results are very similar. You'll swear that you've heard Foma's clever indie pop before -- but you'll want to hear it again as soon as Icecaves ends

---David A. Cobb
- Splendid E-zine

"Icecaves Review"

It gives me a glow inside to receive amazing little albums like this. Hot dog! Jumping frog! Foma are from Alberquerque, and they make such a fantastic little noise.
‘Icecaves’ is a brute to peg down, mainly because Foma use the odd piece of off-kilter indie rock to augment what is basically a sweet, sweet indie pop sound. But I give them extra pocket money for using a violin. But to get back to pop again; Foma do it just as good as anyone else. Whether it be the full on jangle onslaught that is ‘3D Mansions’ or the more ethereal, brittle beauty of ‘Junior’, POP! music is at the very centre of Foma.
However, there is more to Foma than just a stab at jangle pop. ‘Rooftops’, for example teaches the vastly overrated Flaming Lips a thing or two about anthemic space-pop, and can rock out, angular style, like Pavement when they want to – see ‘Sydney Smathers’.
All of which makes ‘Icecaves’ a very pleasing, decidedly old-skool indie pop album. Not indie pop in the sense of hairslides and hello kitty, but sometimes that can becomes far too sickly, but very much a pop record all the same. I embrace them.

-Sam Metcalf
- Tasty Fanzine

"Norweigian Icecaves Review"

A last minute charmer, all the way from New Mexico. Foma present playful cello-pop with ping-ponging vocals, shared between Edward Burch (vocals, guitar) and Ariel Muniz (bass, vocals, keyboards and cello, too). So when main-cellist Heather Trost e-mailed me asking, saying: "...I play cello and violin and keys and sing a little too. We have guitars and bass and drums, and two girls! Not that that matters a bit, but some people like to know that. We have been compared to American Analog Set, and have Velvet Underground influences..." I was quite curious to check them out.
Foma were formed in January 2002 by Edward and one Jon Gaiser (both ex-Derelectrics), with Heather and Audrey McEwen. After a while Jon and Audrey departed, and new permanent members were Ariel and Heath "Testy Kool" Dauberman (drums). Debut album Icecaves was released a couple of months ago, but happen to reach these shores just about when Norway is turning into a place with nothing but ice-caves. Hmm.
But Foma's Icecaves is a much, much more warm and friendly and pleasant place to be than an upcoming Norwegian winterland. Cello'n'violin driven pop is really up my alley, and when Foma unveil their smart little melodies, filled with nice instrumental hooks and cunning arrangements I'm easily out-charmed. Check out the end of song 2, "Junior". "Message To The Interplanetary Man" is really catchy, and like many of the songs on the album it's being playful and skillful, as well as accurately melancholic. Check out "Rooftops", or "Warm & Fuzzy", or "Sydney Smathers". Or the more fragile "Scared", and the nify entitled "Nice Dress, Asshole" - the latter being Foma at their most rocky path. If you're a bit into the extended Elephant 6 family's stuff you'll be hooked.
Foma, big kiss from me!
-Håvard Oppøyen
- Luna Cafe

"Local Icecaves Review"

At first listen, I was a little disappointed that this full-length contains a number of songs from previous Foma, re-worked and re-mastered maybe, but "old". Of course, like all non-musicians, I always wanna know why my favorite bands don't write, rehearse, play and release new material each and every week--slackers!
But as strikingly beautiful as this is, how can I complain-- besides asking for 35% more cello? Vibrant arrangements, deceptive shut-up-and-listen lyrics, a lotta fortissimo on the crescendo (huh?) and gorgeously breathy girly backing vox…sigh.
This presents a full picture of a group reaching its height. For such a bunch of small-statured folk, Foma towers above the commonplace band that attempts but never achieves the same beauty--and kicks 'em to the gutter in the process.
-Captain America
- Wig wam bam

"Phobos Review"

Foma's debut album, Icecaves, came flying by as a pleasant surprise. I therefore greet Phobos with a cheering, almost childlike glee.

Phobos seems to be an album of the conceptutal kind. Phobos means: 1. one of the two moons of Mars. And: 2. in Greek mythology, the son and of companion of Ares (the God of war), being the God of anxiety, panic, fear. Wow. A horror-theme record? Well, it seems like it's more of a Martian tale. Edward Burch (the Foma chief) and his gang (including Heather Trost of A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Isaac Bonnell of The Foxx and The Alarm Clocks, and Heath Dauberman of Nels Andrews' El Paso Eyepatch!) is up to more of their sweetly fuzzed, twisted and bent, but very catchy and charming indie-pop. Much in the vein or up the alley of (a mixture of) Masters of The Hemisphere (or many other Kindercore-related band), Summer Hymns, and Grandaddy, to pick but a few (and I could be very wrong). But the "first" track, the instrumental preface Don't Burn Babies - which works sort of as a taster, could've been something by the highly energetic and bouncy Swedes bob hund (or their alter ego Bergman Rock).

Phobos is short, clocking in on 31 minutes. I'm a fan of short and efficient albums. The ten songs of this one brings us as far off as Mars. Yes, the two-part (not counting the preface) tale starts with an Introduction, ending with "Departure", before taking us to Dream One, which holds among others "Arrival" (no, not ABBA's...). The CD booklet present a robot which seems to be the leading character along the red thread of the strory. The music is poppy, joyful, appysad, thoughtful, and dreamy. My favorite tracks are: "Kurt's Theme", the Grandaddy-ish "Arrival", the charming "Robot Exoskeleton", the 1-minute-20-secs-long perfectly slow/dazed pop song, and the sweet and quiet closing track "Soft Rains".

I guess (I hope) will reach a bigger audience soon. One day. Buy their records, go see their shows. Love.
- Luna Kafe

"UK Online Phobos Review"

A gorgeous and swooning record, PHOBOS is a delicate alt-pop delight from start to finish; Foma the kind of band you normally only dream of. A delicious slumber party attended by Joy Zipper, Grandaddy, Stars, Broken Social Scene and Pavement, Foma are a band you can love, PHOBOS a record you can adore. Essential, dreamlike and unmissable.

(for full review see: - UK music search

"Phobos Review"

Foma can be summed up as the culmination of everything good from the '60s that was injected into the indie rock of the past two decades. Lo-fi, twee-pop, space-rock, and all the rest of the hyphenated, meaningless sub-genres aren't lost on this New Mexico-based band. PHOBOS is unpredictable, unrelenting in its desire to change direction, and really makes you wonder why Foma isn't getting hyped by the indie elitist press. Credentials include tours with Cat Power, The Decemberists, and Mates of State, by the way. If you're a Grandaddy or Flaming Lips fan in need of something to make amends for break-ups or AT WAR WITH THE MYSTICS, here's your chance. - David Barker - Skratch


The Scared EP(2004)
Icecaves LP (2004)
Phobos LP (2006)


Feeling a bit camera shy


"Thank God things like this still happen."-Losing Today(Italy)
"Foma has perfected a coy, yet lustrous indie pop persona." -Venus Magazine
"A band with great ability and even greater potential." -Americana UK