Zox- The Wait
Label: SideOne Dummy Records
A collection of three Brown University grads (songwriter/guitar player Eli Miller, drummer Jon Zox, and jazz bass player Dan Edinberg) and one "punk violin player" (Spencer Swain) who combined in 2002 to record their debut Take Me Home. After touring relentlessly and selling 13,000 copies of the debut by themselves, Zox got inked to SideOne Dummy and released their musical cornucopia The Wait. The band has since been touring with the likes of Gogol Bordello and has shared the stage with O.A.R. and Guster, among others.
How Is It?
If you're in the mood for something interesting, this cd is definitely for you. This band has grasps on equal parts jazz beats, reggae tendencies, and punk/ska guitar work, infused with that beautiful violin that adds even more uniqueness to the songs. The lyrics are simplistic but they don't take the forefront on The Wait; there is enough intelligent guitar work here to make up for it. The four song sector early in the album of "Carolyn," "Little More Time," "Anything But Fine," and "Better If It's Worse" exhibit a band that knows exactly what they're doing when they make up these song structures. Time signature changes keep the listener on their proverbial toes, and, surprisingly, the 13-song, 51-minute long player rarely falters (the first two songs and the somewhat less-interesting "Bridge Burning"). With mid-tempo jaunts that feature violins that outshine other punk-violinists like Yellowcard's Sean Mackin, Zox are a band that isn't afraid to make the sound they love, even if it may not be the most pop-accessible music out there (although try not singing along to the chorus of their first single "Can't Look Down"). With their truly unique Police-gone-punk sound, Miller's low register Nate Ruess-like voice, and just enough pop sense to get them heard, don't be surprised if you get blown away by Zox opening for your favorite indie band at one of this year's big festivals.
Raucous Pachelbel's "Canon"?! Impossible!: The Police, Gogol Bordello, Punk Violins, going to shows to see a killer live show in which you don't get mauled by screaming hordes of obsessed fans.