Jesus H. Foxx
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Jesus H. Foxx

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This EP is very short, very very good, and a hell of a lot more than the slightly one-dimensional band I had rather hastily pigeonholed Jesus H. Foxx as being. The jerkiness remains in their staccatto percussion and tendency to shift rhythms at surprising times, but these songs are a lot more enigmatic than anything they’ve done before. There is brooding atmosphere of experimentalism underlying most of it, rendered almost animalistic by the constant thud of the drums.

Occasionally this atmosphere is burst with a flood of unexpected vocal harmonies, or sometimes a caramel guitar riff*. This breaking back and forth from the easy to the difficult, and the unsettling to the sugary is what makes this such a good EP.

Another thing is the perfect sequencing. It kicks off with Oh Messy Life, at under a minute, before smacking us round the chops with I’m Half the Man You Were, the obvious pop song, if you can say that there is one, on this record. To end, we’re given the crunching Xa Xa Xa, followed by the mellower leave-taking of Matter, which deposits you gently back where you were when you started. This is, make no mistake about it, a really really nice bit of work, and a very promising new direction indeed. - Song, By Toad


It took me a while to know what to make of this. In most cases, that’ll be the kiss of death for a band with me. I know one shouldn’t write off a band immediately, but such is the nature of instant music gratification. I always promised myself that I’d never be one of those people. Then the internet made so much music available that it became impossible to give everything a fair chance. This blog hasn’t exactly helped matters either. I’ve got two giant stacks of CDs sitting on my desk, even with the amount I listen to. The ability to listen to albums over and over is something lost on me at this point.

Jesus H. Foxx are not the kind of band that do instant gratification. Their music is difficult, at times slight, a little too comfortable with not getting excitable. Yet it has something. Something that made me come back to the album a week later and play it again. Something that has made me go over a few more times since. I still can’t put my finger on what it is that’s working for me, but it does. I can’t say that I love the album as a whole, but it has the ability to worm into one’s head.

Some songs manage to stand right out though, like I’m Half the Man You Were. It’s gentle, but gradually builds, vocals that jump between band members playing off of each other throughout. There’s not all that much it on first listen, but repeated plays open up further complexities. It almost has the vibe of a rootsy Americana record, most obviously in the voice, but it’s far more than the sum of it’s parts. Give it a listen or three, and it’ll be impossible to resist. - Another Form of Relief


Not about to have the spotlight stolen at their EP release, Jesus H. Foxx (****) take the stage, delivering the record’s contents and capping off with some unreleased material. Epic doesn’t often apply to indie-pop, but it must for Foxx. Tonight, they employ beautiful and captivating brass, percussion and vocal arrangements with the tightness of live pros, advocating dense song structure as well as their openers offer a well measured stripped-down style. - The Skinny


Hot on the heels of Song, by Toad Records’ latest success with Meursault comes Jesus H. Foxx (don’t be thrown off by the name, please), a seven-piece outfit out of Edinburgh, Scotland (where else? It is Song, by Toad’s label anyway…). Jesus H. Foxx mix several different genres of music, which is perhaps easier with a larger group. But a cohesive, delicate sound? Impressive. I would have never guessed there were seven members in the group, and frankly, that’s just how I like it. Though, Jesus H. Foxx certainly have their fair share of disjointed, fun ballads.

Musically, Jesus H. Foxx bring out the most simple of sounds and somehow make them complex to create the dreamy, textured atmosphere on their new EP, Matter. The guy-girl vocal harmonies (apparently every member sings some) establish a backbone to the creative backgrounds. The deep male baritone works wonders for Jesus H. Foxx as the complementary, cutesy female vocals match the lively, percussion-driven rhythms. The songs work together as one; we’re given hazy noise which leads into soft crescendos (oxymoron? No. Jesus H. Foxx manages to pull it off) and full choruses. Give ‘em a listen, their sound is unique to what we typically feature here – it will be a little “taste expansion.” - Knox Road


Jesus H Foxx can’t say they’re sorry. They’ve stumbled in cross-eyed in the smallest hours, spilling stomachs all over newly laid carpet, crucified face down in a serene stupor when the curtains are open an hour later. They’ve been pushed by pens, starched stiff, white collared in dripping-tap office blocks for a day or two, then come down with pnuemonia, glandular fever, nagging toothache, broken bones all in one freak accident in front of Neighbours or Come Dine With Me. They’ve had girlfriends, but never circled any calenders on their birthdays. Fatherly ambitions of Club Captaincy and Law School and Grandchildren dissolving in a mess of brilliant daydreams and wild plans scribbled on the back of UCAS forms. Jesus H Foxx can’t say they’re sorry, because sorry doesn’t make a difference.

Hailing from Edinburgh, the brilliant four strong troupe tread the same ambling path towards slacker anthem status that a certain Stephen Malkmus blazed louchely all those years ago in their skewed self-deferential swagger. The band have released a single, ‘Tightt Ideas’ (artwork above) this year on Glasgow Independent Broken Friend Records, and its off-kilter trebly guitars, drawled delivery and gleefully irreverent lyrical sentiment have seen it burrow firmly into our hearts over the last week or so. - Transparent Magazine


Originating in the summer of 2007, Jesus H. Foxx was primarily the remnants of several fallen bands around the Edinburgh area. The collection of longtime released their debut 7”, Tightt Ideas, in 2008 as a five-piece in before acquiring two more members. They now consist of two drummers, three guitarists, a bassist, and a cornet/glockenspiel player as a result. Self-admitted fetishists of American experimental indie-rock in the vein of Animal Collective and Deerhoof, they appear indebted to groundbreaking innovations equally to accessible, psychedelic-minded pop music. This remains particularly reminiscent of Arthur Russell, whose work was so uniquely ambitious that it would be impossible to hear it prominently within the work of others unless they were sloppily ripping him off. His influence on this group, like the others, is more subtle and only prevalent to those familiar with his work. But like Russell, you can hear the seven members of Jesus H. Foxx aligning their pop ideologies with otherworldly, impressively intricate structures and developments.

Jesus H. Foxx’s new release, Matter, expands upon the impressive territory of Tightt Ideas by diversifying the six tracks on the release. To begin with where it ends, the last two songs on Matter are particularly reminiscent of this aforementioned Russell influence, particularly in the way they both use reverb and unconventionally tuned instrumentation. The self-titled track sees little more than a mumble initially to serve as a vocals, but as the track progresses with the echoes of an acoustic guitar overlapping beautifully over twinkles of keys and spatters of percussion it becomes apparent that Jesus H. Foxx is a group that plans meticulously. The rest of Matter is divided between accessibility and experimentation, with “I’m Half the Man You Were” and “Trying to Be Good” almost stealing the show. Both show a clear Talking Heads influence, in the vocals obviously with the deep oh-so-cool Verlaine tone but more prominently in how the track builds on infectiously concise guitar progressions and pleasurable eruptions deriving from the rhythm section. With female vocals coo-ing behind the snazzy Tom Verlaine-Michael Gira hybrid lead, it makes for a remarkably addictive effort. Jesus H. Foxx takes cue from songwriters like these, who apply strong pop foundations with intricately bizarre influences to create music that is sometimes confusing and a bit overwhelming, but for the most part Jesus H. Foxx are excitedly progressing into an act that we would be wise to keep an eye on.

RIYL: Animal Collective, Talking Heads, Deerhunter, Atlas Sound, Pavement, Arthur Russell - Obscure Sound


…A MEASURE OF LIFE
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Presenting…Jesus H. Foxx

jesus-h-foxx-matter

Damn that Toad, how does he do it?!

That Toad, being Matthew Young, who writes the excellent Song, By Toad blog and runs the Song, By Toad record label. His latest release is the very fine Matter EP, an excellent six track release. Trynig to describe them is like falling flat on your face; it gets in the way of you enjoying about what you were trying to do before. Though the folks who have said The Modern Lovers and Talking Heads are probably right in a way…yet somehow this doesn’t really get to grips with what it is. I think i hear bits of the Go-Betweens.There’s brass…they’re definitely scottish…and once again, Matthew is absolutely on the money. Damn him!!! A totally original sounding band. You will want to take them to your hearts.

According to their myspace the band members are Mew, The Wind, Peanut, Madge, Ninsh, Machine, Brash. Hmm.

Anyway, you need to hear this band. - 17 Seconds


Discography

We have released one single, "Tightt Ideas", and one EP, "Matter", both of which are available on itunes, emusic etc., and have received a substantial level of national and internet radio airplay. Our debut album "endless knocking" will be available late summer 2011, on Song, By Toad Records, preceded by the single "So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away" in May.

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Bio

The first question we always get is "why Jesus H. Foxx?", so that's as good a place to start as any.....

“jesus fucking fox” is a little known expression for surprise or incomprehension I think I heard in Boston.

The “h.” comes from the blues brothers film: they substituted jesus h. christ for jesus fucking christ in the dialogue so the film was palatable for younger viewers......i didn't like the idea of having a name that would preclude the playing of children's parties, or of telling our mothers.

The second x in “foxx” was a typo. An aesthetically pleasing typo.

With that out of the way, Jesus H. Foxx are a seven-piece band from Edinburgh, Scotland, reframing 80's indie and post-punk through a haze of experimental north american music from the 00's. Think Talking Heads produced by Phil Elverum or David Sitek, incorporating field recordings and modern drone music like Fennesz or Tim Hecker. Jonathan Richman fronting Grizzly Bear.