Every great punk or hard rock song has to begin with that heavy, epic riff. It’s fundamental to the song’s identity and has to get the crowd energized from moment one. Classic riffs like “Search and Destroy” or “Blitzkrieg Bop” and more modern gems like “The House That Heaven Built” or “Icky Thump” do this really well – with searing, scorching guitar and a pulsing back beat that hit that dopamine trigger that music lovers crave. Especially if you’re a newer indie band trying to establish credibility, you’ve got to have something other than skinny jeans and weird hair to make the crowd turn their attention from their phone to the stage.
Des Moines’ garage band Foxholes’ latest single “Sunny” gets pretty close to That Epic Riff. (Soundcloud link here). What they bring in “Sunny” is a crunchy punch from the beginning that moves into a brooding 70s-era rocker – hearkening back to when indie rock and punk were truly underground and everything was being redefined. Foxholes matches the energy of their forefathers and has that inspired DIY feel. “Sunny” itself doesn’t have a catchy chorus or any definable structure outside of the double-beat hard riff, but listen well: many great records that went on to eventually sell millions were initially passed over by big labels because the suits in the room “didn’t hear a single.”
So, the creative energy is strong with Foxholes. Listen if you like the Strokes, the Hives, Japandroids, the White Stripes, or gritty old-school NYC proto-punk. Their self-titled sophomore album comes out on May 26th.