2004 saw The Killers release their debut album ‘Hot Fuss’ bringing synth pop back to the mainstream in the process. A decade on and the genre is now inescapable with just about everyone in the music industry having traded their guitars for synthesisers. The latest act to pay homage to the ‘80s genre are Tell No Foxx, a Wicklow-based three-piece who have just released their debut self-titled EP
While Tell No Foxx share a love of synths with the likes of Chvrches and Bastille, their sound veers towards the other end of the synth pop spectrum with the band adopting a much darker tone. Opener Boulevard certainly comes with a brooding feeling, the song a mix of minimalist guitars, unadorned drumming and atmospheric synths. Combined, it all makes for a song of undeniable quality.
Pure is more of the same, another highly polished synth driven number. This one is even darker than the opener with its Depeche Mode style bleaker than bleak lyrics. While it’s a little more bombastic and a little more overwrought than the opener there’s still a lot to appreciate about the song. The same can’t be said for the EP’s final two tracks. Obsolete starts out well, muted and downbeat before gradually morphing into an overblown mess. Silence is similarly over cooked, the band really overdoing it in an attempt to sound atmospheric on this one.
In Boulevard Tell No Foxx have a song of undeniable quality, one that’s good enough to launch their career. Unfortunately the rest of the EP doesn’t stand up to it’s quality with everything sounding too ‘big’ and mawkish. If they can scale back their grandiloquent tendencies, there’s a very talented band here. For now though, their debut offering will appeal to ‘80’s synth enthusiasts only.