LA-based Foxygen takes your dad’s classic rock LP collection, consumes it and filters it through their ADHD brains, regurgitating 2012’s Take the Kids Off Broadway or 2013’s We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic — big, sloppy, messy records referencing everything from the Rolling Stones to the Kinks to the Mysterions, but with a certain post-vinyl-revival sense of irony; like Brooklyn’s MGMT, they don’t limit their frame of reference to punchy classic rock. Spacey prog-rock song structure, Otis Redding soul-stylings and ELO synth-sweetness are in the mix as well.
Inspired by ’60s revivalists Brian Jonestown Massacre, Foxygen doesn’t complete musical ideas; they simply disregard them — vocalist Sam France apes Mick Jagger one minute, croons like Iggy Pop the next and then testifies like a psychedelic soul-preacher after that. Foxygen wants to take you back to a time when bands were named The Strawberry Alarm Clock or The Great Peanut Butter Conspiracy. Songs don’t end, instead they trail away into the next hazy trip — letting all the rough edges show like ’90s slacker bands, or proto-punkers Modern Lovers, while attacking rock ‘n’ roll like it can still change the world.
And now and then they get it right. Like when Take the Kids Off Broadway’s “Why Did I Get Married” explodes into an Exile on Mainstreet-style cacophony, or when “Make it Known” (complete with handclaps) ascends into a blissful Eric Burdon-esque chorus. Foxygen are awfully derivative, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun, so don’t miss these indie darlings at Cottage Grove’s ridiculously intimate and cool venue Axe & Fiddle.
Foxygen plays 8 pm Monday, March 25, at Axe & Fiddle; $5.