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Zox - The Wait (Cover Artwork)

Zox

Zox: The WaitThe Wait (2005)
Armo

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
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Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
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It's a real pet peeve of mine when bands make it a special point to advertise an unusual instrument being played on their record, then do very little with it. If it's important enough to tell that there's cello on an indie rock album, there had damn well better be great integration of that cello. I'.
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It's a real pet peeve of mine when bands make it a special point to advertise an unusual instrument being played on their record, then do very little with it. If it's important enough to tell that there's cello on an indie rock album, there had damn well better be great integration of that cello. I'm not talking 15 seconds at the end of one song, I'm talking about it being a very present force in the recording process. Zox have gone out of their way to make it known that their brand of indie rock features a violin, and even went so far as to say the album is "violin-driven."

Does it live down the hype? It definitely tries. And I want to say the band uses the violin to its full potential, but the fact really is that it just doesn't happen.

I'm not saying the band ignores the violin, because that's simply way off base, but the songs aren't driven by it as was implied. There's definitely enough to keep things diverse, and keep things flowing well, but some songs don't implement it quite as well as others do. Maybe I'm being unfair, and expecting a little bit much. Let me retract a little bit on the violin gripes I have. The amount of violin usage that the band works into their songs leaves no complaints to be made, but rather my issue is with how hard it can be on occasion to hear it at all. Granted it's hard to hear a string instrument like that over an electric guitar, but some more low-tempo songs like "Anything But Fine" definitely wouldn't have hurt. Lead singer Eli Miller's tremendous voice is shone in the brightest light during songs like that, and that's saying something, because his vocals are on point through every single song. And just as on point are the great rhythms and arrangements they put together.

"Can't Look Down" is a gem of a song that uses the violin just the way it should be, to perfectly accent the vocals and stellar pacing. It might have taken nine songs, but this song in particular shows a band who have perfectly hit their stride. The two songs that follow are also great examples of the kind of things the band is actually capable of, especially with the closer, "I Am Only Waiting." The slow, plodding track with a thick bass groove eventually gives way to the best guitar work the album has to offer, and an increasingly speedy chord progression. It seems to be the album's theme, just getting better and better as it moves along, and even the lyrics seem to follow suit. Most of the lyrical matter dealt with is of the relationship type, be those personal or romantic, but since they're approached from a mature standpoint, a listener would be all the more inclined to take them into account.

Far from perfect, Zox save their best music for last. And while they do undeniably take a while to warm up, the journey to get there is well worth taking. Terrific melodies, solid arrangements, and for the most part they do a fine job of incorporating the violin. If you're looking for a Yellowcard clone, turn around now, because this is a band with things to say, and a strong voice for the job.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (June 1, 2006)

I've been watching and loving this band for 4 years so I'm a bit biased. In fact, their playing my graduation party in about a week and a half.

First of all, this album, I agree - isn't really all that violin driven. If you want to hear more songs like 'Can't Look Down', and violin that is used extremely well, you'd have to find a way to get a copy of their locally released album Take Me Home. It's probably pretty hard to find by now unless you can get to Newbury Comics in Providence.

But to really get the feel for how much the violin actually does drive the music, you just have to see them live. Actually, for the band as a whole, thier live show is where they shine.

Chris

Anonymous (October 17, 2005)

If you are going to say that Zox fails to use the violin to its fullest potential, then you need to learn how they utilize the instrument. You obviously failed to listen to "A Little More Time", "Bridge Burning", and "Satellite", all songs in which the violin can be prominently heard.

Zox uses the violin in many ways, with pedals and different playing techniques (other than just using a bow). If the violin was removed from any of the tracks, the sound would simply fail to be as effective as it is... the violin is truly a driving force for Zox.

While the first CD, Take Me Home (2003, Armo records), utilized the violin in more traditional ways, with soaring melodies and intricate classically inspired riffs, The Wait seeks to use the instrument in new ways. There is not a lack of these "older" type Zox riffs on the new CD, but rather a more diverse sound out the violin.

But the CD isn't all about the violin and one must not forget that. Zox is about more. Their music reaches out to anyone who has ever had any sort of feeling in their life- anyone. The emotionally based lyrics play off the soaring melodies in every song, each one standing on its own in a unique way. Rarely do you find a CD where each song is genuinely good and original.

There are points on which we both seem to agree though. Miller's vocals are crisp, clear, and soulful on each and every track of this CD- a rare find in today's musical world. And as for a Yellowcard clone?? I agree whole heartedly- they are their own. Just because they both feature a violin does not mean that they have similar sounds. Many band feature guitars- but most have unique sounds.....

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

i love this band.
they are my favorite. but before you criticize the wait, for its violin use, listen to their first albumn, "take me home".
take me home is an entirely different sound. it established the band as TRUELY violin driven. every song is packed with intense violin riffs and leads on "take me home" i think the new album is a wonderful display of zox being MORE than a violin driven band. from the vocals to the drums, the wait has major input from every aspect. and shows that it can be MORE than just a violin driven band.

check out there website and give a listen to the older album. its very good, and very different from this one. and it may give you insite to the bands progression.

www.zoxband.com

Anonymous (October 13, 2005)

You NEED to see this band LIVE. You're listening for what you think should be violin and he's way beyond you. The first CD had traditional violin sound that you could have understood. Go see'm LIVE...its an EAR opener.

stevejonestherealbones (September 26, 2005)

zox sox

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

- sox = sux. i havent heard it though. but zox sox. i like the sound of that

Anonymous (September 21, 2005)

Just because they aren't playing with a bow, does not mean it is not being driven by the violin....much of the Violin that Spencer plays is plucked and distorted.....watch them live to see how much he is actually the "lead" violinist.

Inspection12e (September 21, 2005)

Bought this today. It's pretty damn good and it was only 11.99.

Anonymous (September 20, 2005)

If Eli Miller was as cool as Eli Caterer, Zox would be a great band.

Inspection12e (September 20, 2005)

Just listened to this band and they are very good. The descriptions are pretty far off. So I suggest everyone listen for themselves.

Fuzzy (September 20, 2005)

I haven't heard this, or even knew it was coming out, but their last album was fanfuckingtastic. So awesome. Their last CD was definitely Violin Driven.

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