By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Dear Neighbor: Eleven hours ago, I was writing a letter in response to the note you left on my apartment door the other day. Because you live below me, you wrote, you can "here" everything that goes on in my bedroom. And would I be so kind as to not play any music after 11 p.m., as you find the noise disturbing?
I had planned to write about how the noise you heard was merely the new Foxy album, Stay Foxy por Vida. I threw in a gratuitous masturbation reference ("bopping the baloney"—there it is again!), several profanities, a few easy cracks about how you can't spell, a bad pun on the Foxy song "Suck It Down," and a clumsy attempt at religious conversion, like I might bring you over to the Foxy side or something.
But not a word of that letter was funny or crafty or remotely snarky, and this is what you're left with: short, sharp, pokerfaced commentary on why Foxy's new album is so great that you're likely to hear it well after 11 p.m.
We'll start with what you already know: "Love Kills," the opening track anchored by big drums, buzzy guitars and rumbling bass. What you might not know as intimately because of the few inches of plywood and trapped air between us are the lyrics. Singer LP (also known as Lisa Parker, formerly of 4Gazm), makes it feel as if the tune belongs in a bad teen flick at a moment when the director wants to suggest that the lead actress (or her bitter rival) is a tough skank. I can even see her mouthing the words: "22 with the rest of my life/Kamakazi mission, suicide/Afraid to live, God knows I've tried."
A little later, there's "Sick Inside," one of six tracks from Foxy's first EP, re-recorded for this full-length. I still love it, one of the poppiest, happiest-sounding songs about a breakup I've ever heard. I really like the line "I saw you cross on a back street/Middle fingers came so easy."
The lyrics are pretty sweet throughout, penned mostly by Foxy guitarist Greg Antista, who used to be in Joyride with everybody's favorite local nice-guy punk, Steve Soto. They co-wrote this album's "2000 AD" together, intending to get Joey Ramone to sing it. This wasn't some fantasy: Steve was playing bass in Joey's band for a while, but now Joey will never get to sing it, even if he wanted to, because he's like, dead, y'know?
Greg does scribble some pretty great lines, like this one from "Promises & Lies": "Shit's all stacked by the door/Our love lies bleedin' on the floor/Sick of promises and lies/Every worn-out alibi." Sigh. I mean, who hasn't been there? Fucking poetry, Greg!
Greg's a tough guy—anybody who tended bar at the Doll Hut has to be—but he can be a real sweetheart. Like, he wrote an actual love song on Stay Foxy called "Last Night": "And the sun don't burn so bright/And the tears don't sting my eyes/And all the emptiness is filled tonight/Sweet asylum . . . by your side."That's dreamy. But it's not a ballad, even though it reads like one. As you know, it thumps and pumps like everything else on here, and LP's voice sounds content and blissful when she sings it, like she—or the character she's channeling—has finally found the perfect life partner. A happy ending in a punk rock song!
I thoroughly enjoyed indulging in this line of aural pleasantry from "Tear You to Pieces": "Gonna tear you to pieces/Gonna rip you to shreds/Better call out yer Jesus/Gonna leave you for dead."
"Suck It Down." Great title.
So there. Stay Foxy por Vida? is a great album, really, one of the best of 2001. If I were in the habit of making year-end Top 10 lists, this album would be on it. But I like Foxy, so I'll help them out by calling this "One of the best albums of 2001!!!" just so their publicist can use that as a jacket blurb next time out, and maybe other music writers will see that and become mildly interested in Foxy. That'd be nice because I'm getting tired of loving great music by myself. Not entirely by myself, of course: there's always you, dear neighbor.Foxy perform with the Cadillac Tramps, Boobie Trap, All the Madmen, Beer City Rockers & the Go-Lords (with special guest MC Ricky Menace) at the Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600. Sat., 8 p.m. $15. All ages.