Engineers: Mark Dodson, C.J. Devillar, Mike Stock.
Recorded at One On One and Devonshire Studios, North Hollywood, California.
All songs written by The Nixons.
This Oklahoma City-based quartet plays raucous, guitar-based rock full of simple hooks, pounded out via distorted chains of high-volume fuzz. And somehow, all of it gets molded into fully realized rock tunes. Singer/guitarist Zac Maloy has a good sense of melody, and on songs like "Sweet Beyond" and "Smile" he's able to rise above the one-dimensional scream/shout mode that characterizes so much of the genre.
Actually, "Sister" sounds much like Pearl Jam, but there is a unique, wide-open feel to The Nixons' music--one that tells of long trips across the Plains (try 324 dates, 18 months, 55 cities) in a malodorous van, bound for glory. From the album's title (via Kurt Vonnegut, meaning lies people tell themselves to feel better) to their chosen name, The Nixons display a pleasant lack of self-seriousness, as well as feel for what makes good rock 'n' roll. In short, they kick out the jams.
Audio Mixer: Toby Wright.
Recording information: Devonshire Studios, N. Hollywood, CA; One On One.
Photographers: Alison Dyer; Robert Greeson; Tim Stedman; Stock.
In the latter stages of the grunge era a plethora of bands arose from the ashes of mediocrity to establish themselves with minor radio hits. The Nixons fell into this category when their radio single "Sister" achieved moderate success. However, once you get past the sentimental radio hit there are several tracks on Foma more deserving of attention. "Head" is a roller coaster ride of anxious buildup, explosive release, and then more buildup and release. "Smile" provides catchy lyrics sung with emotion-laden vocals. Arguably the best song on the album is "Trampoline," which takes the best characteristics of "Head" and "Smile" to produce a well-crafted piece of songwriting complete with numerous flashes of guitar virtuosity. The Nixons are at their best when Zac Maloy's vocals are wrenching to compete with the wailing guitar licks provided here by Jesse Davis. Foma opens with a scream and then delivers a hard rock romp that will delight fans of the heavy alternative genre. ~ Erik Crawford
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