Focus Fox is an indie rock band whose work elicits both a sense of familiarity and a vague musical mystery. They explore and carefully pick apart some of the same sounds we've heard for years, but they do so with a reverence and understanding of the importance of this kind of communal rhythmic disassembly. Indie rock has been so thoroughly analyzed and torn to splinters that little of its inexplicable nature is left to reveal, but Focus Fox finds the heart and emitted pulse of their work, and channels these echoing melodies with little effort and an elastic joy that tumbles and spills all around them in unfiltered waves of sound.
With the release of their new EP, "Pressure," the band (Peter Hagemeyer, Daniel Nelson, Drake Farmer and Alex Farrel) seems intent on not making the same mistakes as their like-minded indie rock brethren. The album is fierce when it needs to be but subtle and casual when it suits the band's needs. Guitars crack and jangle while the drums circle and anticipate the next melody somewhere in the background. Vocals catch the wind and rise alongside intricate arrangements that possess their own perspectives and guide the band in carving out an insular niche.
Opening with the simmering rock presence of the title track and winding through a tumultuous landscape of dense influences until "Years" closes out the record in a whir of barely contained emotion, "Pressure" doesn't simply adhere to the restrictions or expectations of its inspirations—it takes the sounds that have helped shape the band's direction and twists them until their basic structure has been bent and the seams start to show. They build these personal and inherently cathartic songs without catering to any given genre's predispositions or tendencies and offer a decidedly skewed viewpoint on the viability of modern indie rock.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.