I feel like we almost have to mention Foxing when discussing what emo music is in 2013. They represent how the genre has expanded to include a lot of outside influences. There is a whole lot to like about The Albatross. A genre defining record it isn’t, but it is a great snapshot.
The Albatross is an inclusive and encompassing record. It manages to seamlessly combine emo, post-rock, indie, and math rock. It can go from simple and twinkly to complex. There are touches of horns and strings throughout (though primarily on the interlude tracks). The vocals range from delicate to gruff to yelling depending on what song is playing. Foxing seemingly took a kitchen sink approach to song writing, choosing to do what they want instead of constraining themselves to one thing.
Foxing’s output to this point has been limited, but strong. A few splits and an EP showed that the band is very capable of making damn good music. The songs on this record sound genuine and sincere. But, as with any debut full lengths, there are some weak spots. There are a lot of references to the sea/ocean (which should be expected on a record called The Albatross, I suppose). The metaphors start to wear a bit thin towards the back half of the record.
I don’t know why I’m not really excited by this record. The production is great, the music is spot on, and it’s an overall enjoyable listen. The songs rise and fall in all the right places. The guitars get all twinkly right where they’re supposed to. The outside instrumentation adds some beautiful accents. There just isn’t anything that immediately stands out to me, especially with the slew of great genre records that came out this year.
It’s a good record, but I just don’t know if it’s a great record. But, given that this thing is already starting it’s second pressing after barely a month, it’s fair to say a lot of people might disagree. Maybe I’m just missing something.