Fox and Cats Return With a New Single
Leon casino, Photo: Daniel Nelson
I would like to think that the city of Houston is more unified in the music scene than it probably is. Bands from inside the loop rarely go outside of the loop, and bands that live in the burbs have to truck in just to gain a bit of fandom here and there. Sometimes, those outer loop acts have something about them that’s pretty great and intoxicating. Maybe it comes from chain restaurants and a lack of to do’s, or maybe it’s like everyone else trying to “make it,” but some have that certain something that sets them apart. One of those bands is Fox & Cats from Clear Lake. The duo recently bit the bullet and added a full time bassist in Chris Dunaway. Since then, they’ve been working tirelessly on finishing and releasing the follow-up to their 2013 EP, “This Is Your Brain On Love.” The first response to that, drops today with the single, “Black Hole” from their upcoming album, “Ampersand.”
I think the biggest stand out on the track, is the fact that it comes off as raw and a little unhinged. The production from Travis Hill and Kory Gable feels minimalistic on the song that has the sound of how the band comes off in a live setting. Where most of the songs on “This Is Your Brain On Love” came off as pretty polished, this song feels more like a band turned up to eleven, and has that nice roughness you want from a band that brings it live. Opening with an almost growl of screamy vocals, Josh Willems sings with his lone guitar riffing to set the pace, before Nicole Wigginton does her thing by slowly building the boil on drums. Then, within the first twenty seconds, the song has already created a grander sound with cymbal crashes. It’s obvious that this isn’t just a “rough” recording, as the drums hit and the guitar swings like it should under the helm of a producer. The hooks are pretty evident, straightforward, and almost come in pairs as the solo that comes in kind of naturally creates its’ own hook; while the song falls in line with Fox & Cats’ works from the past. That same catchy and head bopping sound is still there, but the emotion in Josh’s voice comes across more upfront than in their previous works. The same can be said about Nicole’s drums, in that her dynamic energy behind a kit comes across louder and more prevalent than on the EP.
The song, that commands to be listened to on repeat, hits like you want a rock song to hit. The guitar and the drums mix well with the vocals; and if radio still made much of a difference for a band, then the song minus an F bomb would be radio ready. You can hear the song, “Black Hole” here, and you can catch Fox & Cats when they return from tour, at the 8th Wonder 2nd Anniversary Celebr8tion of Beer on March 21st.