The Foxholes 2020
Searching for fresh routes to the future, Barcelonian group reimagine the core of it all.
Having taken stock of their oeuvre with the band’s first-ever live album, these Catalans seem to be moving on – away from their former selves and towards a slightly different collective identity, for what else can “Foxholesque” mean if not something similar yet not quite the same as what’s been on the scene for a decade and a half? The ensemble’s eighth studio record is much heavier than its spaced-out predecessor, "Sci-Fox" – which wasn’t light on riffs either – but it still harbors prog ambitions. Perhaps, that’s why the not-so-long longplay’s CD version has 2011’s “La Sed Que Yo Tengo” attached as an apprehensive finale, both enriching its sonic and thematic context and stressing the trio’s development over the years.
And perhaps, that’s why there’s cosmic expanse to the album’s titular epic whose ten chthonic-cum-crystalline minutes question the very reason of our existence, while the electronica-tinctured opener “Cruzada” faces humanity’s fears with infectious defiance, showing light and shade in most alluring patterns. As Mojo Moritz’s bass and Ángel Millán’s drums create a pulsating wall of sound which Jonah A. Luke’s guitars color in rock ‘n’ roll, the aural atmosphere and lyrical philosophy display darker portents, even though the disco-styled “Orbe” is throbbing in its own way wherein folk motifs are apparent, yet they’re so artfully woven in the rhythmic structure that the entire piece packs a mighty punch.
And then, pressure is dropped to reveal the funereal flow of “Vepa” – the sparse, strings-drenched threnody which carries the torch of the trio’s creativity and solemnly rebuilds the initial tension – and the organ-smeared drift of “Who Do You Think You Are?” where doubt and blame swirl in harmonic slo-mo as the musicians fathom their chances of escape this gloom. Escape to remain faithful to themselves but come out the other side changed and ready for new adventures.