Punk rock with Easter eggs.
Melbourne's Foxtrot capture the essence of gritty Australian pub punk quite well on their new full length 'Gone Fishin.' The introduction to opening track 'Hammered Not Nailed' presents a serious undertone with its solemn guitar lines but quickly picks up the pace in its big chorus after the verse gets a little groovy.
There is a fair bit of colour under the seams in this band's music, those not paying close attention could dismiss it for standard four chord punk but the song-writing actually runs much deeper. The vocals are gritty and rough but still manage to offer enough melody to make sense, imagine your standard chorus with sweet "oohhhs" and "ahhhs" in the background, then put a distortion pedal on it and that is how Foxtrot operate.
The band claim, in the bright and heavy 'One By One', that "No one really gives a fuck about dinosaurs," which is clearly incorrect as dinosaurs are cool, but the riffing guitars step their game up making this track a highlight. The music is far more dynamic than the vocals, purely based on the amount of variety in it, when a song drops down in its verse and lets the bass lead the way, the vocals tend to maintain the same energy and delivery for the entire record.
The mid way break of instrumental track '...How We Live...' is strange, it sounds as if it was mastered differently and doesn't really fit the feel of the album, from here things change up with the lo-fi introduction of 'Don't Forget To Smile', a mellower number the builds to a mess of distortion at its ending and is followed by the blues rock/punk rock assault of '(The Jerks Have Already Lost).'
The record ends with a true stand-out, a little secret the band have apparently been keeping that seems to make sense of everything, going fishing isn't some bogan pass time for pub rockers, it's an escape from everything, a time to reflect and this soft little experimental track, which links perfectly to the beginning of the record and explains all that with very little.
Foxtrot certainly offer more than you may first expect, upon close exploration of 'Gone Fishin,' you will find that this punk rock has substance whilst still remaining true to the fun, aggressive nature of the genre.
1. Hammered Not Hailed
2. Keeping Up Appearances
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3. One By One
4. I Guess This Is...
5. ...How We Live...
6. Don't Forget To Smile
7. (The Jerks Have Already Lost)
8. Playing Catch-Up
10. Livin' The Dream
11. Gone Fishin'