The Last Mixed Tape reviews Breathe In The Strange, the brand new studio album from Fox Jaw.
There’s a brute force about the music of Breathe In The Strange that finds Fox Jaw’s angular alt-rock sound expanding with a production that allows it to push and pull with impactful relentlessness throughout a record filled with great dynamic passages.
Fox Jaw don’t waste a second of Breathe In The Strange as the immediate collision of sharp-edged riffs and bone-rattling beats open the album with the taut sound of ‘Madeline’. A song that explodes then pulls back into itself throughout, this introduction also introduces the central battle of tension and release that makes both the record and Fox Jaw’s music so striking.
While this undercurrent of brooding intensity runs right through Breathe In The Strange, Fox Jaw don’t lose their ability to write long lasting hooks and riffs within the dense sonic backdrop of the album. The intricate shimmer of ‘Line It Up’ has a bounce to it contrasted by contorted sections that twist the band’s music into an off-kilter sound, while the big, dominant vocal of ‘Serrated Love’ makes a palpable impact against a hefty background of fuzzing guitars and heavy drum beats.
However, its the ear worm alternative-rock of ‘Sun Goes Sideways’ that melds the interlocking musicality, sleek songwriting and big ambitious production of Breathe In The Strange best. From its backbone beat, statement making guitar strums and crooning vocal, the slick indie sheen of the music clashes nicely against the bristling core of Fox Jaw’s sound, culminating in the record’s high water mark.
Closing with the one-two punch of the hook-laden ‘Let It Run’ and the sprawling eleven minute epic ‘Shadowland’, which brings Breathe In The Strange to an ambitious, far-reaching end, Fox Jaw portray an album that covers the full spectrum of the music within a production that allows them to do just that.
And so it goes, Breathe In The Strange is exactly the album Fox Jaw needed to make taking the grizzled alt-rock that serves their music so well and casting it against a much larger canvas where they can expand both musically and sonically (see: ‘Shadowland’), resulting in a record of great, sure-footed growth.
Breath In The Strange by Fox Jaw is out now.