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FOXTROT – GONE FISHIN’

Gone Fishin’ is the latest release by Melbourne four-piece punk outfit Foxtrot. They’ve only been around since 2010, but this album suggests this is a band that already knows exactly who it is and where it fits in the music world. Foxtrot know what their strengths are (serving up highly listenable, seriously moshable songs, for one), and they focus on playing up to these throughout this punk-rock offering that is a solid performer for its ten-track entirety.

Overall, the album sticks quite close to a particular path: if you like the opening track, Hammered Not Nailed, then you are going to like the rest of this album. But why shouldn’t you? It’s a pretty bloody good one. It takes you on an enjoyable trip, with plenty of meaty, rollicking goodness along the way. I Guess This Is…and its hoarse, anthemic, vocals wailed to a solid burst of rock, for instance, is a helluva lot of fun. And for two memorable minutes at least, you’ll imagine yourself to be Livin’ The Dream as well, banging away as you will be to the tight, catchy riffs underpinning the primeval roar that vocalist Josh Newman shows glimpses of his being able to achieve.

Playing Catch-Up is a standout performer, taking a pleasing turn that evinces Foxtrot’s talent for capturing an angst-laced melancholy with a hint of regret. In fact, a tinge of this angst can be sensed throughout the album; and it mixes well with the hint of rebelliousness and anarchic tendency that also flavour it.

Possibly the best track on the album, however, is the last and title track Gone Fishin’. It’s a song of two halves, the first of which captures the essence of the rest of the album well; with reflective, guttural vocals overlayed onto some rockingly-fun punk. In the second half, Gone Fishin’ takes a different, welcome turn, surprising with some musical reflection that will hold your engagement right to the end.

But what this last song also does is illuminate an inventiveness that there could have been more of. There was no heart-stoppingly surprising variation from the path Gone Fishin’ sets out on, and a bit more of this experimental straying-from-the-path that Foxtrot show they are capable of would have really elevated the album beyond descriptions like ‘good’ and ‘solid.’ That said, it is a good and solid album overall. It’s a fun, accessible offering that easy to listen to, and I’d be happy to whack it on in the background when a few mates come over to loaf around with a few beers in the garage. You might not be surprised, but you certainly won’t be disappointed either.

Gone Fishin’ is out now through Jackknife Music

Foxtrot on Facebook

Rating:  23 out of 28 days.

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