If it wasn't the fake split with Arab On Radar they pulled to boost CD sales that sold your heart, than it had to be the album artwork on the Oxxxes LP that caused an uproar of controversy. The protest in Baltimore was later turned into the album cover of the CD version, with my favorite being the guy holding up a protest sign that says "Oxes Suck Coxes!" On their latest release, Oxes EP, the joke starts on the outer plastic wrap that depicts the Pope with his hand stretched out, and of course the album artwork is well done once again. It's a cluster of everything American: hunting, KFC, Coca-Cola, potato chips, cards, hot dogs, donuts, and the best of all a Wheaties box having Oxes depicted as sports figures. How are Oxes so clever? How do they do it? Self-reflecting. They stare in the mirror for hours and they'll tell you the songs practically bring themselves together on their own.
Do you remember three years ago about, Andrew W.K. had a new song "We Want Fun?" Well, I never liked Andrew W.K. or that song and it was never rowdy like Bam and all his douche bag friends made it out to be in the video. They're throwing stuff and breaking it on a half-pipe, while they showed a montage of a bunch of drunk-idiots running around pretending to be all crazy. The songs on this EP, on the other hand, are just what I would describe to someone as completely rowdy. This album is an all out dance rock-n-roll fest; this is damn good. This is what you should get drunk to, not "We Want Fun."
Oxxxes was a fine release. It was a bit more calculated and had more metal aspects to it, as well as the occasional melody. But Oxes EP has just as much chop; it's pretty much Shellac featuring George Thurgood and Jimmy Page on crack. The first two songs shred, though the first is a bit more progressive. The second's riffs cut like a knife and at just two and half minutes length, you might be spent. They hammer the shit out of their instruments on the third, going back and forth with a couple of notes bending the hell out of strings, and smashing the skins. At the end a drum march comes in and leads it into a satirical twist on Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" - this is not the first time Oxes have parodied a song. If you've never heard the Oxes Peel Session, I suggest you do. They did a cover of "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters. They close out this all-American release with an all-out foreign electronic techno dance beat, the song doesn't particularly fit but that's probably the whole point. The production is also something to take notice too. It's very home recorded, but it makes it more like it's live. You can here noises and sometimes yelling in the background.
Oxes are a simple team of three producing a massive sound of complex angular twists with their perspective on how rock should sound like. I haven't been creaming myself over a lot of bands lately, but the Oxes are keeping me interested. I'm kind of getting tired new stuff out there which isn't so new. I keep finding myself referring back to the same old bands when comparing it to music I find I like. I'm starting to think I was born 10 years too late. While I can't imagine being in my thirties yet, I'm hoping in the next ten years the up-and-comers take more influence from bands like these.
This is a genre in which bands don't get the recognition they deserve. It's not a popular genre amongst music goers; it might have to do with the genre being tarnished by boring soundalikes. Or it could be that kids are still too indie. One thing is for certain, Oxes have proven to be solid, and will always be mixing it up. So exit out of the Pitchfork links, put your bandanas, scarves, and rhetoric away and go buy Oxes EP before the year is over so you can really say, "Yeah, I rocked it in 2005."
7.6 / 10
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