Foxtails Brigade - The Bread And The Bait
Straight from the promo sheet, on Foxtails Brigade's debut "You won't any find drums here, just quiet, finger-picked guitar, ethereal vocals and simple violin and cello melodies; the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon tea." For most rock fans, that does not sound enticing. But give it a spin, and you will find that all is not delicate and fair here. "The Bread and the Bait" may offer stylized chamber music backing whispy vocals, but Foxtails Brigade have more in mind that just accompanying a lovely afternoon. There is a dark underbelly to the gentle, sly tones, and a riveting melodic sense to these eleven tracks that constantly surprise-and satisfy.
Classically-trained guitarist and vocalist Laura Weinbach is the key to this record. Forming the band around herself and violinist Sivan Sadeh, with guests added as needed (here Jen Grady's cello is the essential guest), Weinbach finger-picks her way through dreamy folk tunes ("The Hours," "the Doll") as well as more choppy, dissonant chording ("Steak and Cookies," the title track). The strings are also alternately somber ("Creeping Ophelia" ) and jarring ("Pan-Asian Delight," the heartbreaking "For Leo"). Foxtail Brigade keeps the melodies unpredictable, the subject matter erratic but pointed; Wienbach's vocals are gentle and high, and threaten to veer off into parody but never do. This is really heart-felt, deliberately composed mood music.
"The Bread and the Bait" is creepy and majestic, haunted by its own melodies and by a vibe of nostalgic regret that is dark but oddly comforting. We all know the dreamworld that Foxtail Brigade strolls through; that intimacy is what makes this one so memorable.
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