While some might assume that The Foxymorons fall under the power-pop banner, the truth is, there’s no musical tag that’s readily made for them. Even after repeated listens, their sound and set-ups seem to defy any sort of easy identification. Though they’ve been friends from their school days, David Dewese and Jerry James come across as an unlikely duo, even after five full-length albums, each boasting a sound that’s as confounding as their handle otherwise implies. Thus far they’ve avoided any attempt at typecasting, although their grungy garage sound does owes a debt to Mott the Hoople, early Bowie and Johnny Thunders in attitude as much as amplitude. Pavement and latter-day Wilco also come to mind, but these are merely touchstones and not the definitive definitions that such comparisons might otherwise imply.
Naturally then, Fake Yoga expands on that subversive stance established early on, but here again, Foxymorons avoid typecasting and obvious angles. Instead, they opt to confound their listeners with reams of noise and feedback, making for a series of soundscapes that have songs and static constantly competing for attention. The fuzzy tones of two supposed pharmaceutical entries, “Mixed Meds” and “Hugs/Drugs,” exploit that delirious delivery, each a raucous musical melange that emphasizes noise over nuance. The lyrics and the liner notes expound on their woozy conceits, describing scenarios that pit Richard Hell against Woody Allen, day jobs that find workers watching the clock, the threat from kops and kanines (their spelling, not ours) and the deliberate way one chooses to part his or her hair on one side as opposed to the other. It may sound weird to the unawares, but then that’s the Foxymorons conceit, the product of a band that’s as elusive as it is eccentric.
Ultimately, Fake Yoga has little to do with ruminating about meditation, even though that’s what the album title might imply. Nothing here could be considered contemplative, and to suggest otherwise would be to give a false impression. The energy and exhilaration exhibited in a song like “Later, Alligator” exemplifies the irreverent attitude that’s purveyed in the music throughout. It’s manifested in a delivery that’s so jittery and jarring, there’s practically no way to sit still—which, after all, fits in well with their generally whacked-out vibe. Granted, these Foxymorons don’t give in to easy description, but clearly there’s a certain method to their madness as well.