Fox Teeth - Through The Blue
“very catchy indie-emo” – BrooklynVegan
“they embody the combination of twinkle emo and shoegaze.” – Noisescape Magazine
Fox Teeth was never supposed to come this far. Frontperson Jade Rich (vocals/guitar) began writing music as Fox Teeth in 2019, never expecting the project to go anywhere–even the name was a tongue-in-cheek rip on Foxing, one of Rich’s then-favorite bands. Maybe, to some degree, this lack of self-seriousness is what made the band’s 2020 debut LP Tite! such an easy listen. Although the songs might delve into more serious subject matter, the band, comprising Rich and drummer Andrew Romanowski, never lost sight of that.
Through the Blue, the band’s sophomore record, is a different sort of record. It’s got that classic jangly, melodic emo sound–the band cites Adventures, Tigers Jaw, and The Front Bottoms among Through the Blue’s main influences–but it’s a darker album than Tite!, one that demonstrates that Fox Teeth are more than big hooks and math riffs. Mike Chiarappa’s production gives the record a crisp and robust sound, and Pollyanna’s Daniel McCool, who contributed bass to Through the Blue, helps fill in the edges of the band’s sound. The mid-tempo “Asbury Park” is fuzzy and foreboding, crawling through dream pop haze to a muted, cathartic climax, and “Promises” takes the record in a totally different direction, an overblown garage punk song that finds the duo at their most aggressive yet. But other tracks show just how comfortable Fox Teeth have gotten with empty space. The placid twinkling of “Mathematician” verges at times on slowcore, what the band calls “a nod to our love of Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers,” and “Floral Patterned” begins as a classic emo belter before the song’s bridge dips into post-rock–and then boomerangs right back.
The story of the fun-loving rock band who turns in a serious (but still fun!) sophomore album is by no means a novel one, particularly in emo. But Fox Teeth haven’t just created a more serious follow-up to Tite! They’ve created a stellar record that stands on its own. Through the Blue isn’t a level-up compared to Tite! or a level-up for the emo scene–it’s just a level-up, period.