Faux Fox

The sticker on this record reads, "Hey CMJ Reporters! Dig Gary Newman and Suicide? Meet Faux Fox. Make Out. Have Babies." I don't know what Gary Numan would think of that rampant abuse and misspelling of his name, but I'm guessing he and Suicide's Alan Vega would agree that these Denton-area boys just might be more concerned with making out and having babies than with making music. What's worse -- they're apparently not even concerned with making people dance.

The songs on Black Glove offer a sort of table of contents of modern synth-pop, with varying degrees of pop. But even though the production was handled by the Paper Chase's John Congleton, it isn't interesting enough to make up for the slack songwriting and middling music of the first few songs. When the record finally does pick up speed enough to allow their Kraftwerk-lifted beats to bubble to the surface, the lethargic, parasitic melodies suck away all the energy.

To its credit, the record isn't drenched in the consummate electroclash stereotypes -- ridiculously vapid phrases repeated over and over, or the echoes of numerous other electronic artists' feeble attempts at digital reworks of Echo and the Bunnymen's Heaven Up Here. But that's only giving credit to a horse for not being a jackass. Or to put it another way, this Faux Fox ain't nothin' but a dawg.

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Lance Walker