Fox Jaw’s ‘Ghost’s Parade’ Album – Review
Fox Jaw is a 5-piece rock band hailing from Limerick and their 14-track album ‘Ghost’s Parade’ came out on September 12th.
The album opens explosively with a kick of guitar and drums that hits you hard. In ‘Hijack’, the vocals are barely produced and have moments where they bring a hint of blues. They band use pared back moments to create further big kicks of rock sound throughout the track that keep you hooked into it. A powerful opening that couldn’t be a better start.
The second track really showcases the unique vocal style. The beginning is simple and a little bluesy and the lead singer’s accent brings a bit of flavour – the sound of a good Irish voice in a rock song can separate it from the rest of the rock on the market. ‘Falling Debris’ allows us to get into the lyrics a little more than the first track but maintains the same power in the musical line that makes Fox Jaw’s music so compelling.
‘Dug up from Underground’ has a more benign opening but contains a dash of synth in the instrumental line which adds another facet to the group’s sound. The vocals are gritty and bold and hold the track together.
The 4th track, ‘Siren’s Call’ opens quietly and simplistically and adds some nice harmonies and percussion to the main vocal and piano line. It’s an easy number to listen to but lacks some of the gritty power of the earlier tracks. ‘Food for the Soul’ follows hot on its heels with a bold opening and is the highlight of the album in terms of vocals.
The titular track ‘Ghost’s Parade’ is a moment of particular intrigue in the album. The eerie soundbites that open the track make the vocal seem almost sinister when they come in and these combine to create a tone of foreboding until the guitar breaks the tension. Plenty of whammy on the guitar as the track winds to a close maintains this surreal feeling created in the track.
The sound is generally consistent across the album but there are some tracks which provide little variations which keep the album interesting. The oddly sweet upbeat harmonies in ‘Kerosene’ are intriguing’ and ‘It rings true’ is less rocky and more smooth and mellowed and really allows you to enjoy those accented vocals. ‘Caked in Sin’ is the tenth and shortest track but is definitely one of the highlights, punchy and well-thought out. The sombre ‘Afterglow’ is a surprising diversion from the general sound of the rest of the album. There is a resonant unity in this track that is powerful and the simplicity of it somehow makes it stronger.
The only criticism that could be made is the choice of final track for the album. While Fox Jaw bring some different elements into ‘Stream of Consciousness’, it is a little ordinary in an otherwise striking album that deserved to finish with a bang.
All in all, the album is deliciously compelling and generally well balanced, the instrumental lines are well put together and boldly powerful moments keep the long album engaging from start to finish. The growly vocals really help give the band a more uniquely definitive flavour and overall the album flows effortlessly from track to track.
Review by Kat Clinch