Jesus H. Foxx – Matter

Jesus H. Foxx

When I first heard about Jesus H. Foxx, they were the haircut band support act of choice in Edinburgh, and pretty much the only purveyors of spiky indie punk pop in the city.  That particular niche seems to be quite well inhabited these days, even as the Foxx themselves are leaving it behind.

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.

Jesus H. Foxx – Trying to Be Good

Jesus H. Foxx – Tightt Ideas (single from 2007)

MySpace | More mp3s

*Yes, I know I know, what the fuck does that mean.  It’s related to the perfection of the surface of caramel – shiny and clean, but with all that sweetness underneath.  I’d have changed it if I could think of a better word, but I can’t.