Consequence of Sound

The Foxymorons is a terrible pun and an even worse band name. It’s also entirely forgivable, considering that the Texan duo — made up of childhood friends Jerry James and David Dewese — were in their early 20s when they came up with it back in 1994. That puts them both somewhere in their 40s these days, not that you’d know that from a cursory listen of their fifth LP, Fake Yoga. In addition to boasting the snottiest album title of their career, it comes swarming with fuzz and adolescently crunchy hooks, a far cry from the more delicate, pastoral plucking heard on 2010’s Bible Studies.

In the wrong hands, this could come off as a sonic midlife crisis, a cynical attempt at a rebellion that hadn’t even been tackled in the band’s younger days. But in The Foxymorons’ case, the amped up energy stems not from a desperate bid for youth, but an anxiety that’s very much the result of getting older. James, Dewese, and their rotating cast of session players aren’t blowing out the garage because they want to feel young again — they’re doing it so they can be at peace with their current age.

The result is a record caught between young adulthood and just plain adulthood, but you have to delve into the lyrics to discover that dichotomy. And, even then, the clues come from individual lines instead of a greater narrative. “Sentient Creatures” shows someone who’s tired of “running from canines and cops,” and “Later, Alligator” turns that exact rock cliche on its head by aiming it at the recklessness of the narrator’s past, a recklessness they’re not so sure they want to be associated with anymore. In that sense, it’s the indie slacker equivalent of Lou Reed’s “Hangin’ ‘Round”.

But even in its most blatant rejections of juvenilia, Fake Yoga isn’t exactly sure of its own maturity, and that’s a good thing. Lest the sneering James and the more full-throated Dewese (the two split lead vocal duties almost down the middle) come off as holier than youth, they admit to making some of the same boneheaded mistakes they decry. These range from the off-and-on-and-off relationship in “Spinning On a Needle” (the album’s most fuzz-drowned track) to the on-and-off-and-on one in “Always Come Back”. “Slow Geometry” gets nittier and grittier by hinging the success of yet another messy romance on a couple’s shared love of pop culture. By the end, we know that a cool record collection does not a stable relationship make, even if those records are by Neil Young (On the Beach) and Minor Threat (Complete Discography, because what else would it be?).

The only time Fake Yoga falls into the condescension it so deftly avoids elsewhere is on “Permanent Frown”, a simplified profile of the typical (and also non-existent) rock and roll bad girl we’ve heard in countless songs before. It might stand out if Dewese ever got past his laundry list of the woman’s gloomy yet alluring physical features (get the juxtaposition?), but he doesn’t: piercings, shredded roots, cherry lips, a permanent frown, yada yada yada.

Thankfully, “Permanent Frown” still comes laced with enough power pop caffeine to keep the listener jolted, and like everything else on Fake Yoga, its unique status (in this case, being the one weak track on the album) comes solely from reading along with the lyrics. Words aren’t for everyone, so those who prefer just to listen will likely have fun. And those who decide to go deeper might start to feel old, which, in the world of The Foxymorons means feeling at ease, or at least trying to.

http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/11/album-review-the-foxymorons-fake-yoga/

PopMatters

It’s natural to assume that bands like the Foxymorons will naturally fall under some sort of power pop banner, if for no other reason than there’s no other musical tag with which to readily identify them. Still, their sound and set-up defy any easy identification. Childhood friends David Dewese and Jerry James have maintained a reliable relationship that’s grown to encompasses five full-length albums and a musical soundscape that’s as elusive as their name implies. Their trajectory began, oddly enough, when the duo commenced recording with a quirky lo-fi 7-inch single entitled The Silver Leaves EP, a record which brought them initial attention and garnered positive notices from fans and tastemakers alike. Their recordings have never been easy to typecast, but if push comes to shove, they’re best described as a kind of grungy garage sound that owes a debt as much to Mott the Hoople, early Bowie and Johnny Thunders as it does to any modern music maker of similar stature.

The band’s latest opus, Fake Yoga continues to expand on the template established early on, but here again, it goes to great lengths to confound its listeners with lots of noise and feedback, a series of soundscapes that find static and songs competing for attention. The fuzzy tones of “Mixed Meds” (an appropriately suggestive title if ever there was one) and “Hugs/Drugs” affirm the raucous nature of their often delirious delivery, a restless musical montage that emphasizes noise over nuance. The liner notes—a combination of lyrical ideas and maniacal meditation—refer to topics that provide their muse: Richard Hell vs. Woody Allen, day jobs that compel one to watch the clock, running from “kops and kanines” (their spelling, not ours) and a tendency to part one’s hair on the same side without any deviation whatsoever. It may sound weird to the unawares, but such is the nature of the Foxymorons’ M.O. It’s little surprise then that the blend of pomp and power exhibited in a song like “Later, Alligator” further affirms those aforementioned glam rock references.

Ultimately, the Fake Yoga handle makes some sense, even if one has to theorize about its meaning. These are not contemplative mediations by any means, and to suggest there’s any sort of stability here would be giving you, the reader, an entirely false impression. If that’s a requirement, then the listener will be sorely disappointed. That then is what they must have meant by labelling this “fake” yoga, the implication being that the music is so jittery and jarring, there’s practically no way to sit still. Which is of course absolutely fine. The best rock ‘n’ roll has always been unsettling. And on that score, the Foxymorons most certainly prove they’re both cool and competent.
http://www.popmatters.com/review/foxymorons-fake-yoga/

KUTX: Song of the Day

After hitting you with the chorus half-a-dozen times in “Permanent Frown,” David Dewese stops the song and incredulously asks, “what’s a permanent frown?” before dialing up the guitar riffs again. For a band that calls itself the Foxymorons, this kind of meta-punchline is pretty on-point. Dewese and Jerry James started the outfit on a lark two decades ago in the Dallas suburb Mesquite. The pair have teamed up sporadically ever since, maintaining a creative partnership even while Dewese and James occupied different cities.

Across four albums, the Foxymorons nodded to classic pop themes, but their fifth is something else entirely. Fake Yoga–out November 6–is irreverent, noisy, and utterly charming. It has the sound of a few friends–they’re joined by Will Johnson on drums–bashing out tunes across a day-drunk weekend. But underneath the mess of feedback and lo-fi accidents are a batch of power-pop nuggets; it’s Guided By Voices as performed by Weezer. And that rock ‘n’ roll id comes out to play on “Permanent Frown,” even while the Foxymorons shoot spitballs from the back of the class. –Art Levy

http://kutx.org/song-of-the-day/the-foxymorons-permanent-frown

PopMatters

The ever-lovable indie rock duo of David Dewese and Jerry James, most commonly known as Foxymorons, are back with a new album called Fake Yoga, which will be released on 6 November. A gonzo, and not to mention strangely funny video for the track “Always Come Back” has been pieced together in typically idiosyncratic fashion, and is well worth watching below.

“David currently lives in San Diego, California and I live in Fort Worth, Texas,” says James. “And in addition to being bandmates, we’re really good friends—so we like to hang out when we can. That said, David was in town for a wedding so we met up in the Dallas suburbs during the waning days of summer (with David’s nieces in tow) for some swimming, eating, and general goofiness. The video was shot in a very low-key, off-the-cuff way and documented an afternoon of band shenanigans. Incidentally, there was country line-dancing at the wedding which we sort of snuck in there. We are from Texas, after all.”

http://www.popmatters.com/post/foxymorons-always-come-back-video-premiere/

Blurt

Check out a brand-new track from the forthcoming album, due in early November.

The Dallas duo is called the Foxymorons, and while they ain’t in the least bit moronic, their skronky brand of indie rawk is definitely foxy as hell. To date the duo of Jerry James and David Dewese has issued 4 full-length records described as “shambling, lo-fi guitar rock and and skewed pop”—which is a pretty good description, we think. Fake Yoga is now set to be the fifth in the series (collect ‘em all), due November 6. Here’s a track to get your juices flowing, “Frontier Feelings”:

About the album: It’s a “joyous collection of abrasive, nervous, tuneful guitar rock… underneath the strange amp noise and boyish vocals are deceptively effortless melodies addressing themes of anxiety, restlessness and escape.” The aforementioned “Frontier Feelings,” in fact, is about a tormented teenage loner who wishes for “daydream boyfriends she could tell / Woody Allen, Richard Hell”. Also worth noting: the record features guest Will Johnson – frontman of Denton, Texas outfit Centro-matic and erstwhile Monsters of Folk member – behind the drumkit.

Well, all right then! Ultimately, the duo prove on Fake Yoga that they can channel their penchant for graceful melody into songs that skronk and squeal.

-By Blurt Staff

http://blurtonline.com/news/fall-heroes-preview-6-the-foxymorons/

Fort Worth Weekly

Of every band in North Texas, The Foxymorons may be in the weirdest place. Since forming in Mesquite in the mid-1990s, the duo of singer-songwriters David Dewese and Jerry James has achieved some national love, having received positive reviews from Pitchfork and Paste and having played sanctioned showcases at South by Southwest. But The Foxymorons don’t really exist outside of their recorded products. While James lives near the Cultural District, Dewese has spent the past five years in Southern California after 13 years in Nashville. Getting together to play shows is a teeeeensy bit tricky. The fact that The Foxymorons started out as just a fun thing for two friends to do is amazing. That they’re wrapping up their fifth studio album and sixth recording overall –– with Centro-matic’s Will Johnson on drums! –– is miraculous.

Recorded this spring at The Echo Lab in Denton with producer, longtime collaborator, and Centro-matic drummer Matt Pence, Fake Yoga will have about a dozen tracks and come out this fall, James said. However, he added, “Things always seem to take longer than we hope or would like.”

Recording began in earnest at James’ house in December 2013 during one of Dewese’s not-infrequent Fort Worth trips. “We typically just collect these songs,” James said, “and then eventually we record them and put them out in the world. It’s like a message in a bottle or something, and then we sort of move on and can’t wait to do it again.”

Indie-rock has rarely been catchier, shinier, or bubblier than on Foxymorons’ Bible Stories (2010), Hesitation Eyes (2005), Rodeo City (2001), and Calcutta (1999).

On Fake Yoga, though, expect a little more crunch and bite, James said. Life changes are partly to blame/credit. James left a job and did some traveling, and both he and Dewese have left their 30s in the dust. “I think that even though we feel perpetually 25, I think [aging is] something that we had to reckon with in different ways,” James said. “Ironically, as we’ve gotten older, we’ve made a record that’s noisier and more abrasive than our younger selves would have made.”

James said that Fake Yoga is laced with themes of anxiety and escape. Restlessness. “Maybe those things are in all of our records,” James said, “but maybe [it’s us] speaking to our younger selves.” Maybe, he said, the rowdiness is also a “reaction” to the fact that The Foxymorons’ previous couple albums were “refined”: neat and sparkling. “Maybe we’re just in a place where we wanted to make a racket,” James said.

Though you might think that James and Dewese are writing and recording in a vacuum, they’re actually pretty tuned in. Well, a little. “I always feel like we’re on an island,” James said. “We play guitars, electric guitars, and that’s the music we’ve been inspired by, and in a way, maybe the fact that we made this noisy guitar record is a reaction to so much synth-pop and electronic dance music. We just want to hug guitars.”

James isn’t sure what will happen after Fake Yoga comes out. A record, he said, is “a thing you put out into the world. You hope some likeminded people appreciate it. At the very least you’ve made this thing that you like.”

Typically, bands tour after putting out an album or EP. The Foxymorons don’t have that luxury. “We’ll see,” James said. “Maybe some shows. We’re just taking it a day at a time. But I would love to play shows in support of it. We’re gonna gather together some friends, do some sort of record release show or something, maybe just a low-key thing, just have people together in a room, somewhere in Fort Worth, to share drinks and listen to music or something.”

And that brings up a “wonderful thing” about Fort Worth. “There’s a real community around creative endeavors,” James said. “That’s the amazing thing about Fort Worth.”

If we demand it, maybe a local Foxymorons show will happen. We should.

All Music Guide

http://www.allmusic.com

The Foxymorons have been at it since the late ’90s but release albums pretty rarely, which leaves everyone with plenty of time (and good reason) to get excited by another record. Though the praise given to the band is frequently filtered through comparisons to other acts from the various heydays of power pop — the bandmembers themselves make it a point to note an affinity for Big Star and Pavement — on Bible Stories they craft a charmingly ramshackle collection of songs that render tracing steps in the annals of rock a moot point. The central duo of David Dewese and Jerry James trade off on the vocals and must attack their respective songs pretty differently: not that they specify who’s-who, but it’s clear that one is remarkably adept at delivering memorably conversational lines in raggedy, endearingly tossed-off little packages, and the other is more of a classicist in approach. This voice is the one responsible for the more lush and meticulous material, while the aforementioned occupies a comparatively ambiguous place, trading in the sort of substantive humor that may have given birth to the delightful absurdism of the album’s moniker, not to mention the band name itself. In songs of this persuasion, colorfully in-the-moment character encounters like “At the Dairy Queen you talk so obscene” strike a circuitous poeticism and fanciful interplay with the alternating instances where ever-active melodies take center stage. At the end of the day, they’re great as a collective, reveling in an outsider’s glory and bashing it out, and alternatively toning it down for high point after high point. The changing of the guards is used to maximum effect where the gorgeous lullaby “This Too Shall Pass” — echoing an Elliott Smith-by-way-of-Jeff Hanson quality in its disarming falsetto — is grounded by the ultra-satisfying guitar rock of “Say It Aloud.” Later, the amusing archetypical portraits of folks from the lateral opposites of Boston and Portland define dreams of escape on “Sick of California,” and the images are allegorical enough to offset the sobering narrative of a disenchanted band trying to make it in the modern-day climate. The joke, though, is really on the fair-weather friends who only “Tell you what you want to hear/’You’ll make the album of the year'”: the truth is, with this well-rounded stash of ten undeniably rousing Bible Stories, the Foxymorons have come awfully close.

Americana UK

http://www.americana-uk.com

It’s easy to hear why Pavement crop up when talking about Foxymorons, everyone has at least heard of them (Pavement that is) if not actually heard them. So you can take ‘Skinny Cow Blues’ as an example, there’s the title, the lyrics, the vocal phrasing, the ramshackle guitar solo and that seemingly accidental grasp of what makes a song work. A lot of people miss or dismiss that essential skill of Pavement, it sounds like it is so easy to do things slightly wrong so that it sounds better then it would if it were right. It takes guts and it takes wiles, Foxymorons have both and an encyclopaedic knowledge of Indie-Rock.

The smarts allows them not to be tied down easily, ‘This Too Shall Pass’ mixes soft rock with Fleet Foxes style harmonies. ‘Say It Loud’ bursts into life like a Buffalo Tom song. Their stylistic shifts do lead one into just spotting the quotations and connections, it becomes an end in itself, I can even hear the Monochrome Set in ‘We All Crawl’ which probably reveals more about me than the Foxymorons. But then this is self-referential music about music so it’s not totally unfair to pin ‘Sick of California’ as Granddaddy. For those like myself who found their musical identity through Pavement, Dinosaur Jr in those halcyon times before major label feeding frenzies when ‘This Band Could Be Your Life’ was a life this record lights little Proustian beacons, those fading synapses suddenly fire again. I know what I’m going to be doing tonight, it will involve the Volcano Suns and maybe some Big Dipper, it will be loud. So thanks to the Foxymorons for returning me to the lessons I learned in the old testament of my personal musical bible.

The Foxymorons at Double Wide in Dallas

Poster 10-15-10We’re playing at Double Wide in Deep Ellum, Dallas TX on Sat. Oct 16th.  Show up around 10p and be sure to say hello – after all, we’re nice dudes.  We’ll have CD’s, vinyl, tees and buttons on sale.  Oh, and we’ll deliver some hot rock with a six-piece band of friends and co-conspirators.  Later alligator!

Know More Beards

http://knowmorebeards.blogspot.com

Meet The Foxymorons, a duo based in Texas/Tennessee that have been producing great music since the mid-90’s… and their style & sound is very indicative of their roots.

Currently on their 5th release, Bible Stories, these fellas blend nearly everything I love about Wilco-ish and Robert Pollard-ish sounds… while putting out a great album with amazing songwriting and fervor.

Add to that, on top of marking really awesome music – they started a pretty nifty clothing company called American Viceroy that sells (what they call) a “uniform for creative living”.

Clever dudes with clever music. Click the link below to here a few tracks courtesy of the bands website.