Everyone knows the Irish breed tough fighters (see Conor McGregor) and can usually drink you under the table (see my Irish college friends) but did you know they also know how to rock out. Yes Dropkick Murphys and Thin Lizzy come to mind but now you can add Fox Jaw to that list. The five-piece band consisting of Ronan Mitchell (vocals/guitar/piano), Morgan Nolan (guitar/background vocals/keys), Shane Serrano (drums/background vocals/clarinet), Manolis Sheehan (guitar/background vocals/keys) and Kieran J. Sims (bass/background vocals) are a very welcome addition to my list. They just dropped a thirteen-song album entitled Ghost’s Parade that showcases solid songwriting along with enough originality that puts them on the cusp of breaking.
Before we go any further I have to mention how aesthetically good the album sounds. To be honest it wasn’t that surprising once I looked at the credits. The band enlisted Dave 'Skippy' Christophers (Josh Ritter, Whipping Boy, Mundy) to produce, Dave Christophers & Owen Lewis (Flogging Molly, Snow Patrol, REM) to mix and Richard Dowling to master.(David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Interpol). I won’t go into any more detail but the proof is in the pudding.
The thing that attracted me to Fox Jaw was that they were able to produce accessible rock songs that feel familiar while simultaneously finding their own signature sound. You don’t need to delve too far into the album to have this realization. In fact, it is apparent on the first song “Hijack.” The buildup around the two-and-a-half minute mark got my interest but the point of climax got my undivided attention.
Their originality makes itself known on “Dug Up From Underground” as they implement a number of unique changes and the song doesn’t always go where you expect. The song is under three minutes but they manage to make the most of it.
“Food For The Soul” was a personal favorite in which I enjoyed the change in intensity and energy. It starts off demanding to be heard - the drumbeat is an assault. Once the verse hits it lays back for moment before being whipped back into shape. As the album progresses they hit you with a number of good songs including the anthemic “Weasel's Hammer” and “It Rings True.”
Overall, there isn’t much I can say that I didn’t like about Ghost’s Parade. The album does take some effort just because of the length but it is well worth it. Highly recommended.
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