Long-time fans of the St Louis three piece will undoubtedly notice a marked difference between Draw Down The Moon’s killer choruses and the much more subdued, emo-tinged post rock of Foxing’s first two records – it’s true, Foxing are making bona fide anthems now. The titular track, the cinematic “Where The Lightning Strikes Twice”, and the Bonnie and Clyde inspired “Go Down Together” all deliver catchy hooks listeners will be hard-pressed to get out of their heads.
Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull takes the reigns on Draw Down The Moon’s production, and his influence is especially clear on the aforementioned tracks; just as he has done with his own projects, Hull has helped Foxing bridge the gap between intense, hair-raising emo to more melodic but equally as enthralling indie rock. “Where The Lightning Strikes Twice” is a delight especially, chugging along with perfectly timed cymbal crashes that evoke the track’s title – just when you think the song has reached its peak, it does so all over again.
This isn’t to say that Foxing have completely abandoned the tightly-wound, ready-to-burst chaos that made that made Nearer My God such an exciting record – album opener ”737” shimmers into view, Conor Murphy’s delicate vocals pairing with twinkling guitars to lull you into a heady daze before battering you with layers upon layers of cacophonic horns, riffs, and yells in what is completely, classically Foxing.
Elsewhere, “If I Believed In Love” draws upon the synth-led experimentation the band began toying with on their previous album but elevates it to new heights – Foxing’s ability to completely shift tone and mood in a split second is perfectly on show here, with lyrics like “oh now, what do you believe in?” containing a multitude of emotions even just within that one line.
The album’s midpoint, “Bialystok”, is a highlight – the sudden veer from subdued melancholy to what’s as close to a dance floor banger as Foxing are likely to get is baffling in the best possible way. Its followed by the almost polar opposite “At Least We Found The Floor”, a meditative, acoustic-led track that seems to resignedly accept that the self-sabotaging voice we all have in our heads has taken up permanent residence there. Draw Down The Moon’s seven minute closer, “Speak With The Dead”, almost plays out like a sequel to Nearer My God’s mournful “Five Cups” and really drives home the spiritual, cosmic messages the album tries to convey.
Foxing have crafted an album that expertly balances what drew in old fans in the first place – the borderline-unhinged emotional highs of their early math sound – with fresh, indie rock that is very likely to perk up the ears of new listeners.