Local Indianapolis rock duo Moxxie is competing in the next round of the Battle of the Bands next week. We’ll be taking a sneak peak at their song “Havoc” today in anticipation for their performance.
This week, we’ll be covering some of the best artists and bands in Indianapolis competing in the Battle of the Bands hosted at the Hi-Fi. Last week, the first round of semifinals concluded with Forstory advancing in first place, and Jake Schlegel advancing in second. Next Wednesday night at the Hi-Fi, we’ve got the third round of semifinals coming up with six great bands: The Palace, Audiodacity, Union Suit Rally, American Bombshell, Chives, and Moxxie.
So before we get into our song of the day, here’s a little more information about Moxxie, for anyone who either hasn’t heard of them, or is just a little curious.
Moxxie is a fuzz rock power duo consisting of singer-songwriter and guitarist Jessie Phelps and drummer Rocky Rodriguez. The band started up in 2016, and since then they’ve played all around town including Indy Pride Festival, WFYI Small Studio Session, and venues like The Vogue and The Hi-Fi. Last year, Moxxie was the “Gold” winner of the Indy Star’s Best Local Band or Musical Artist of 2019.
With all the attention they’ve been getting, it’s no wonder Moxxie have ended up playing alongside other big names in music. They’ve shared a bill with the likes of Lizzo, Florence and the Machine, K. Flay, AWOL Nation, 311, Blue October, and David Cook.
While they’ve got quite a few releases listed on their Bandcamp page and on Spotify, it looks like Moxxie have given themselves a fresh start with a new website, and new album to go along with it, “Hot Moxxie”. Long time fans of Moxxie will recognize a few of the tracks from their self-titled 2016 album. Additionally, our song of the day, “Havoc” was initially released on the 2017 EP of the same name.
“Havoc” might just be my favorite song by Moxxie. On first impression, you might hear it as just another Nirvana or Pixies clone. But to be honest, even if that’s what it is, I’ll still love it. I kind of love everything about this song.
“Havoc” opens with a half understandable radio advertisement that quickly gets absorbed into static and fuzz. That’s not really important, but it does make the heavy-hitting intro hit a little harder. Soon enough, “Havoc” falls into a bass-led verse, that makes me think of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”. If it’s intentional, I call it a musical allusion. If it’s unintentional, then great minds think alike.
Additionally, “Havoc” follows the traditional structure of quiet-to-loud found in countless punk and rock songs. But again, maybe I’m just a sucker for these kinds of songs, because it works for me. And besides, just being able to see the structure of a song doesn’t make it any less well-crafted. It’s like being able to see the strings on a puppet, but still respecting the puppeteer’s skill.
And even though it’s obvious where their influences come from, it still feels like Moxxie is bringing their own original voice. Jessie Phelps’ vocals definitely deserve a mention, as their clean tone soars above all the fuzz and distortion. Her lyrics are also quite good. “I wanna scratch away your insides / And feed ’em to the wolves / This will bring you into the light / So we can see your dirty holes”. Also, these lines are gold: “I feel so fine, yeah I wanna die”, and “It feels so nice, like a needle in my eye”. Great stuff.
Overall, there’s not really anything bad I can say about Moxxie’s “Havoc”. I usually try to include some critiques just to let you all know I’m not biased. But today, I might just be biased, because I just really like this song, and can’t think of anything I’d change if I could. Kudos to Moxxie.
Be sure to head to The Hi-Fi next Wednesday night for the third round of semifinals for the Battle of the Bands. At the very least, you’ll be able to catch Moxxie there and give them some of the support they deserve. I’m predicting (or maybe just hoping) that Moxxie and Chives will advance to the next round.
Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.