Wednesday, October 27, 2010

GUEST POST: Intern Jeronimo reviews Fox Royal!

Happy Wednesday, all!

So, a few weeks ago, you might remember me mentioning that Austin Eavesdropper now has an intern. That was totally true. And if you are a publicist and have been following instructions (pitching austineavesdropper [a] instead of the old Hotmail address) then you have probably even heard from Jeronimo!

Basically, Jeronimo is awesome. He is utilizing this as a writing internship, so, I invited him to do a couple of guest posts for AE.

Today, Jeronimo is reviewing the new EP, Us Against Us Again, from Austin band, Fox Royal. They have an upcoming show on Tuesday, November 9 at Mohawk.

Thank you to Jeronimo for this post, and please tell us what you think of this review in the comment section! (Constructive criticism only, please).

from jeronimo:

Fox Royal has just released their debut EP, and I’m here to say a few words about it. But before we get into that, let me give y’all a little background on this new group.

The band was started in Lubbock in 2008, when brothers Benjamin Bloom (bass/vocals) and Doug Bloom (guitar/vocals) met Justin Olejnik (drums/ vocals). The band played shows around Lubbock for about a year and a half, until they moved to Austin, where they would meet their fourth member, Lance Logan (guitar/percussion/vocals). A year later the band began recording their first EP Us Against Us Again, and released it in September of 2010.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the music.

For the sake of ending with the good, let’s start with the not so great.

After listening to Us Against Us Again from Fox Royal, I had (and still have) mixed feelings. The instrumentation on this project is actually pretty well done, and is probably the album’s biggest saving grace, but there’s still something left to be desired. The singing style on most of the songs falls pretty flat. I don’t want to call it whiny, because that’s not really the right description, but it just doesn’t feel like there’s any real passion. This makes most tracks feel routine, bordering on mundane. It’s not as if they can’t sing, quite the opposite in fact, but it just seems like they’re still searching for a voice to complement their other talents. That said, there are still some tracks that are worthwhile.

One song in particular really seems to showcase both the instrumental abilities and vocal potential of these young artists: "Across the Room." This track brings together both talents in a way that, I think, shows a lot of future potential. The main problem with the vocals in other tracks is that it sounds like they’re just trying too hard, instead of letting the lyrics flow in a way that would be as melodically pleasing as the instruments. However, on "Across the Room," the lyrics flow right along with the beat and bass line, giving this song a near-perfect feel.

All in all, the group’s debut actually shows quite a lot of talent and potential. The main thing to consider is that artists are always growing, developing and getting better at their art. With that in mind, I think we can look forward to seeing better and better things from Fox Royal.

If you would like to listen to Fox Royal’s new EP, Us Against Us Again you can visit their page at ReverbNation.


Hipstercrite said...

I like Jeronimo's casualness in the review- as if you're having a personal conversation with him. I encourage him to express his voice even more. He seems like a good writer! As for the review, I hate writing them and I suck at them, so by no means am I an expert. However, I would maybe say make the review a little longer. Talk about more tracks on the album and maybe make some musical comparisons?

Greg said...


Tolly asked me to stop by and have a gander at your post which I enjoyed reading. A few things I learned when I began music blogging.

1. Keep it concise. I constantly edit myself, removing unnecessary words but leaving the emotion and content required. Writing Twitter updates actually helps!

2. If you are reviewing an album or EP, begin with your review of the songs and leave the band bio for later in the piece. I had to learn to match my titles to content to please search engines like Google.

Thanks for posting, I've not heard Fox Royal and agree, Across the Room is a nice track. I haven't listened to the rest of their material yet, but I plan to.


p.s. Tolly, did you hear DEVO has had to cancel FFFest? Superbummmed! :(

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Hipstercrite - Thank you, Lauren! I agree: One of Jeronimo's biggest strengths in this review is its casual tone. Not trying too hard. Which is uncommon for a young (think, teens) writer: Usually they OVERwrite. At least I certainly did at that age. Way to keep it natural, Jeronimo.

@Greg - Excellent tips! Thank you for that, music blogger!!

And yes, I totally heard about Devo canceling. :( So sad. I keep trying to think who would make me as happy subbing in...The Cure??

Greg said...

The Cure would make me extremely happy. Let's wish for that to happen.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Greg - RIGHT. How ridiculously badass would The Cure be.

Also, I would just like to say: Jeronimo, I'm glad you selected a band for whom you could both offer pros/cons in your review. Often, I just cover bands I'm already crazy about - so - I'd like to thank you for adding an element of constructive EP criticism to the mix. Good job.

And hey Fox Royal! If you read this review, want to thank you for reaching out to us, and offering a listen of your new EP. My favorite song is Across the Room, too. I'm not sure if this is intentional, but it sounds like the lead singer breathes directly into the microphone for percussion effect (kind of toward the end), and I LOVE it.

Dad said...

Jeronimo, Get to the point right away. Then say why. Here’s my re-write of your first full paragraph: “I’ve got mixed feelings about Fox Royal’s Us Against Us Again. The instrumentals are killer, but what’s with the whiny vocals? Where is the passion? They can sing, but they need a collective voice to match their musical skills. Don’t get me wrong. Several tracks are mucho worthwhile. You’ll like it. But to put out an album that people will love somebody’s got to take the lead here and punch up the singing. If they give their voice an identity to match their superb playing skills Fox Royal’s got it made. Guaranteed."