FOXY: 3 X-Ray Spex Tribute Tracks/ 3 “Can’t Stop Us” Tracks: 10”

Not to be confused with the mid-’90s Green Bay band of the same name (RIP Blinky), this Orange County band formed in 1999, took a fifteen-year snooze, and are back to spread merriment across the planetary surface. As one might glean from the rather unwieldy non-title, this 10” is evenly split between X-Ray Spex covers and tracks from their album, which is not an inherently awesome concept for a record but it’ll do. The tribute side starts with a mash-up of both sides of the legendary “Oh Bondage Up Yours” 45, masterfully flipping back and forth between O.B.U.Y. and “I Am a Cliché” to create something surprisingly ingenious. What they can’t do with two chords these days! I liked it so much, I played it a few times in a row, and was pretty stoked to hear the other songs they were covering—but that turned out to just be normal versions of “I Am a Cliché” and “Oh Bondage Up Yours,” which I’d kinda just heard to death, so the bloom was a little off the rose at that point. As for the three originals, they’re pretty cool: midtempo punk that sounds more English than it does Southern Californian. If I had to pull a weak comparison out of my ass, I’d say they sound like the more Steve Jonesian aspects of the Avengers. The songs are decent and well-produced, although there’s a certain studio sterility to it (especially the drums) that prevents it from really throttling my viscera. Still, probably the best record in my review pile this issue. BEST SONG & TITLE: “Bondage/Cliché Mash Up.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Oh Bondage, Up Yours” was the first import 45 I ever bought. –Rev. Nørb (Self-released, foxybandusa.com)