Since Oxes utter not one word during the entirety of this five-track EP, why should I even try to write any? Phone me and I’ll make noises down the line ‘til you get the picture. What, a summary? Fine: this equals The Rock.
They don’t have song titles – some would say they barely have songs – but Oxes’ appeal lies not in the safety of such structural 'essentials': this is prime riffage a la the heaviest muthas about, all parts Shellac and Lightning Bolt condensed and refined, spat out like bullets at strangers. Be you one of the uninitiated in the line of fire, Oxes’ll damn well shoot the shit outta your ears and leave you bleeding brain all over the Baltimore sidewalk.
The trio – now divided by a rather large ocean following a member’s decamping to the cobbled streets of Italy – carve out what could be considered math rock in its basic execution, but strip the genre of its more tiresome confines, prioritising amplification and fun over any strict timekeeping. Granted, the strange phase effects of the final track – which might be a remix of a past song, it's not clear – is a million miles away from the relentless guitar throttling of track two, but beaming smiles of playful sound are to found throughout. Complexities are rife but never inaccessible, and the straight-ahead moments of abandonment are as thrilling as anything penned in glorious stupidity by The Fucking Champs. Come that throbbing (and it really does, y’know) conclusion, all but the most narrow-minded of individuals will be won over by Oxes’ charms: pleasure, excess, noise.
Oh, and if you do call and I’m not in, read this aloud: waaaaarrrrrggghhhheeeeeeeek sssschhhhruumppphhhh gak gak gak gak duhduuuuhduhduuuuuh gak gak gak gak waaaaaarrrrrrgh gggghhhhreeeeeeekkkk.
8Mike Diver's Score