Zox - Line In The Sand
Label: SideOneDummy Records
Release: January 22nd, 2008
So I get the pleasurable opportunity of reviewing what i presume is the first review of a release that comes out in 2008. It almost feels like breaking a champagne bottle over the bow of a ship as it's first being opened for use, and with what an album. Zox, a band known to you as "that one band on the Warped Tour Compilation a few years ago". Others of you may have gotten your hands on their last record, The Wait, and had mixed feelings on it (or really liked it). But this time around, there's no need to doubt this band. This ain't your Warped Tour Compilation band anymore. They've become a solid band that are somewhat of a genre bender. The new record, called Line In The Sand, is a breath of fresh air. Let me explain a bit more.
The record begins with the self titled track "Line In The Sand", which generally compares to a lot of Zox's past material, but really sets the tone for the whole record, making it sound as if this is a new era and new attitude for the band. The track goes straight into "When The Rain Comes Down Again", which continues this new, somewhat aggressive tone the band has going. But from left field, you get the first single off the record, "Goodnight", which is an acoustic track that really slows things down and really shows how this band has progressed in the past few years. The next couple tracks are much more moody, "Seventh Avenue Prophet" and "Towards Los Angeles". Already, halfway through the record, I have to comment on the awesome progression between songs. Many bands have the flaw of not putting their record in the right order, but with Line In The Sand, it's like a roller coaster ride where you start off at the top and fly back down and go back up another hill. They really have become much more versatile in all the instruments they use. Another song that stood out to me further on the record is "Another Attack", it's pretty trippy, and would be one of those songs that would sound great on surround system. After a "revamped" track called "The Wait (part 2)" which is another nice little acoustic ditty, we move further on to "Don't Believe In Love" which almost has a Cursive-esque element to it. Also, comparatively, Line In The Sand is much better produced than The Wait.
All in all, this record is already one of my favorites of 2008 because of how awesomely different each track is from the last, they each can be listened to during different moods and you will find something new you like after each listen. Zox will venture on the same path bands like Bedouin Soundclash and Gogol Bordello have been the past few years, being mildly obscure, but with a hardcore fan base. They're one of those bands that has all the elements to be an underground success, but only when the time is right. Maybe this record will be their big break? We'll just have to WAIT and see. I'll be the first to tell you this record is one of the first records in 2008 you should be picking up.
12/19/07 06:54 AM
this band never was really my "style" but we go way back to playing shows together in the slums of providence in '01 and '02. props for getting out of RI and into the big time.
12/19/07 09:45 AM
i will definitely be looking out for this when it comes out. I have only really listened to them through their myspace page these last few years, and have, for whatever reason, been pulled in to them. Just really good music. Good review as well.
12/19/07 09:52 AM
The new songs are really good live as well. Which song is it that the vocals are almost entirely Spencer's? I remember that one at their last homeshow.
12/19/07 10:23 AM
About the Warped comp - yeah, that's what I thought of right away. I'll watch for them this year.
12/19/07 11:30 AM
Have it preordered and already have the album anyways, and I love it. At first I wasn't fully into it, but after I few spins I'm def impressed. I'd love to see them break out with this one and expand past our state of RI.
12/19/07 02:25 PM
i've loved this band for a while, didn't even know they were on a Warped comp? glad to see you like the new album because that means i'll love it :) maybe i'll pre-order it, i remember getting an email about that.
12/19/07 07:36 PM
alright, so i have to comment on these guys, as i have known them for around 3 or 4 years. These guys flat out took me under their wing when i was 16 years old and let me drum tech off and on for them around RI and MA, and also on the 10th year of the Warped Tour. Later, my band had the opportunity to open for them at a RI show, and through these experiences i got to see that they have one of the best attitudes and work ethics i have ever seen. They are great musicians, and more importanly are AMAZING guys. they are the nicest group of guys you will ever meet, and have put more work and energy into their band than anyone you have ever seen. they have worked for everything they have, and deserve every bit of success they get.
buy this album. they deserve your support. and remember their name; you'll be hearing it alot.
12/20/07 03:40 AM
Thanks for reviewing this, Nathan. I really enjoyed The Wait and am looking forward to this release. Zox played at my undergrad campus 3 or 4 years back, outside on the main walkway. They did a really good job but I didn't get into them until I picked up their last album. I will be getting this one.