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Foxbat: The Best Hard Rock I’ve Heard in a While

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Foxbat are doing themselves a great disservice by using the term “metalcore” to describe their sound. They’re so much better and more nuanced than that!! When one thinks metalcore in 2018 they may think of Motionless in White or Parkway Drive… ten years ago metalcore meant Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall… and ten years before that it meant Converge and Cave In. Foxbat sound like none of those bands. For one, they’re not as heavy as any of them (and that’s fine), but there’s also scant metal riffery and no hardcore influence. “Metalcore” has become a dirty word these days, so I’m perplexed to see any band use the term. So yeah, I don’t get it!

With that out of the way, Foxbat are absolutely terrific! “Summer,” the latest single to drop from their new album Rotgut, is a mid-paced hard rock ditty that’s as catchy as a bluegill in a kiddie pond. It’s the type of track you might hear sandwiched between Breaking Benjamin and Five Finger Death Punch on your local ACTIVE ROCK radio station, only you’d immediately notice that it’s a couple of steps above everything else on that format from both a musicianship and songwriting perspective. It’s even a little retro alt-rock in feel; you might expect Spotify’s or YouTube’s playlist algorithm to select it for you right after Sponge’s “Wax Ecstatic.” I’ve listened to a couple of the other songs on Rotgut, and while they are indeed heavier than this one they all fit the above description, more or less. He Is Legend are the closest comparison I can muster, at the band’s own suggestion. Madame Mayhem, highlighted in this space before, also comes to mind.

All that’s a long-winded way of saying that fans of smart, above-the-cut hard rock should check out Foxbat. I’ll embed “Summer” and “Grim Ripper” below, and those interested in exploring Rotgut (which is out now) further can be so right here.

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