If I was to describe what Foxygen sounds like, I would say that they sound like The Misfits dropped acid and resurrected John Lennon while asking Sgt. Pepper to come play with them. I may even go as far as to say that they sound like what pop punk maybe have sounded like if it existed in the ’70s, and then I’d leave it at that while proceeding to find a way to escape the psychedelic madness that is …And Star Power. Unfortunately I have a word limit to abide by, and am going to have to delve even further into the chaos that is …And Star Power.
Where do I start with this album? It is probably the most haphazard and chaotically beautiful thing I have heard this year. If indie had a sub-genre similar to progressive metal then Foxygen would rule that sub-genre with an iron fist, or about as violent a grip that a dreamy mash-up of horror punk and ’90s stoner rock could produce. Most bands tend to stick to one particular sound for an album, while Foxygen go through sounds faster than a teenager goes through ideologies. One moment you’re enjoying the sounds of smooth jazz laced with the upbeat musings of blues rock on “Coulda Been My Love” before you’re thrown into the chaotic distortion of the opening riffs of “Cosmic Vibrations”. The song itself descends into a modern take on smoky jazz-house blues – complete with honky-tonk pianos and line-dancing towards the end of the song. Honky-tonky pianos are a favoured feature on …And Star Power. Progress further into the album and you’re greeted with distorted fuzzy guitars on “Can’t Contextualize My Mind” as you’re greeted with a modern take on early Led Zeppelin.
There is a nine in ten chance that the majority of people who aren’t tone deaf and maintain a vague semblance of sanity would have put down the album upon hearing the first song – which is really just a screeching burst of distorted guitar riffs and a hazy curtain of synth – but there was something about Foxygen that made me continue further into the album. It was a psychedelic journey as I delved into Foxygen’s haphazard combination of jazz-house blues, late 1920s big band jazz, ’90s stoner rock, horror punk, and a special kind of psychedelic dreaminess. The album manages to transcend three different generations and bring them to the current generation of music lovers – although there is a good chance that only pretentious hipsters will talk about this band and look down upon anybody who doesn’t know the band. There is a strange sense of inherent nostalgia to Foxygen’s music. I’m seventeen, I really shouldn’t feel so attached and close to a band that sounds like they stumbled out of Marty McFly’s DeLorean .
This album truly proves the statement that music can stand the test of time. Well, that or hipsters have decided to actually start making music that could possibly anger people. …And Star Power isn’t just an album – it is an hour and half musical journey into another time period where there is a good chance that you may be abducted by aliens.