As far as red-state modern rock goes, Fenix Down are better than most. Although the band is from New York, their sound is far different than the Strokes-fueled post-punk that has been bursting from that area since the ’90s crashed and burned. Fenix Down aren’t into danceable, angular riffs and faux English accents. The group skews younger, both in terms of their membership and marketability.
“Sleepsting” is pop-punk without the mallrat clichés, and the piano at the end gives it a unique touch. On “The One” and “Ready to Believe,” Fenix Down are at their best, delivering enough explosive guitars and supersonic drums to pummel a football team into submission. But this isn’t mindless, or tuneless, thrashing. Fenix Down have a good feel for FM-friendly, toe-tapping rhythms. Like Nine Inch Nails and Gravity Kills, Fenix Down have one foot in the headbangers’ ball and one boot in the NASA control room, making synthetic textures rock as much as flame-throwing guitar solos.
I’m particularly impressed with the drumming of Tones, who really keeps this record moving, giving the grinding axe work of Tony Hanson and Joe Perry a melodic underbelly.
Fenix Down: www.fenixdown.com