Fox Chase Drive

Hands In The Sky EP

Written by: PP on 19/05/2008 19:01:01

Early last year, I predicted Fox Chase Drive to be all over the music headlines this year, given the right label and promotional support. We\'re half way through May now, so I guess my career as the reincarnation of Nostradamus isn\'t going too well. As strange as it may sound, the band is still trotting around unsigned, playing small venues and support shows across the pond, which is the reason why you haven\'t heard more to these guys yet. Lets hope the bands new EP \"Hands In The Sky\" changes that, and if not, then the record labels are signing the wrong bands. Look this way exec\'s!

The debut EP had a sound of a relatively unexperienced band. Their pop-punk flavored indie rock sounded a bit unfocused on the EP, as all three songs had different sounds and influences. That being said, they all performed good in their respective leagues, and at the very least showed future potential in Fox Chase Drive.

A part of that potential is now realized on the new three track EP \"Hands In The Sky\". The band had a change in vocalists from Dustin (who left the band) to Josh (previously back up vocals), and as a result, the vocal performance has become more confident and convincing, sounding brighter and stronger than before. You\'ll notice that straight away in \"Palindromic\", along with the significantly better production of the EP. As a result, the guitars have a cleaner sound, and the drumming isn\'t in focus as much anymore, which is only good considering the music relies mostly on the interplay between sweetened guitar melodies and harmonious vocal work.

On both \"Palindromic\" and \"Rainy Day?\", the band moves even further towards the joyous summer sound of bands like Motion City Soundtrack. It still isn\'t as power-poppy with obvious choruses, though, and especially \"Rainy Day?\" sees the band dive head first into the cheery world of indie-pop with electronic elements (vocal sampling, keyboard effects etc) instead. Both songs easily top those found on the debut EP in the catchy chorus / cool riff categories, and the keyboards in \"Palindromic\" are particularly worth noting.

\"Steady Now\" is arguably the band\'s best song in terms of style, but it lacks the instantaneous punch of the other two songs. Its strengths are more subtle: the vocals during the bridge and the beginning, the electric/acoustic guitar contrast in the verses, and the chorus are all good in their own way, but overall you\'d wish the band didn\'t slow down from the decent tempo seen in the other tracks.

Overall, \"Hands In The Sky EP\" is very good, and demonstrates exactly why I named this band as one to watch this year. All songs are radio-ready without being overly mainstream in sound, thus making them perfect prey for anyone regularly reading big community sites like AP.net or Decoymusic. \"It always rains now..\", sings Josh on \"Rainy Day?\", but on \"Hands In The Sky EP\", it\'s sunshine all the way.

8

Download: Palindromic
For the fans of: Cartel, The Spill Canvas, Hellogoodbye, Motion City Soundtrack
Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.05.2008
UNSIGNED BAND

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