Local Indianapolis band Moxxie are competing in the Battle of the Bands this year. To get an idea of their sound before they perform for the third round of the semifinals next week, we’ll be reviewing their album, “Hot Moxxie”.
This week, we’ve been covering some of the twenty-four bands participating in the Battle of the Bands this year. The finals will take place at The Vogue on February 15th, with the winning band taking home a grand prize of $10,000 and a touring van. The competition is taking place every Wednesday night at The Hi-Fi. Tonight will be the second round of the semifinals, with Moxxie performing on the third round next week.
So before we get into the album, “Hot Moxxie”, here’s a little more about Moxxie.
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.
It’s hard to say whether or not you can consider “Hot Moxxie” a new album. In some ways, it’s more like a compilation of a lot of their past material, or a “best of” album. “Hot Moxxie” contains a collection of songs from the EPs, “Gonna Be Somethin'” and “Havoc”, as well as the single, “Phantom”. The rest of the songs come from their two previous albums, “Fake Summer” (2015), and “Moxxie” (2016).
The album opens strong with “Hollywood”, one of the songs from Moxxie’s self-titled album from 2016. And right away, you get a sense for Moxxie’s mixture of clean vocals and raw instrumentation. It sets you up for what you can expect from the first half of the album, which is a series of driving tracks with heavy rock and punk energy. There’s a good bit of influence taken from The Pixies and Nirvana that I hear, mostly in the instrumentation, as well as in some of the lyricism. But Moxxie prove to be more than capable of bringing their own sound to every song on the album.
“Hot Moxxie” takes a little turn about halfway through the album with “Fake Summer (Interlude)”, the only instrumental track. It’s one of Moxxie’s more toned down tracks, that settles into a nice groove and just rides it out. As a standalone track, as well as how it gives the album room to breathe, “Fake Summer (Interlude)” serves its purpose well.
A lot of energy comes after “Fake Summer (Interlude)” with one of the highlight tracks of “Hot Moxxie”, “Havoc”. The groove is great, the instrumentation awesome, and Jessie Phelps’ vocals are on point. Out of all the tracks on “Hot Moxxie”, “Havoc” sounds the most grunge and punk inspired, and definitely earned a spot as my personal favorite of the album.
Overall, “Hot Moxxie” is an electric, ever engaging and intensely fun album. While I don’t see exactly why this new compilation album was created, it’s still nice to have all of Moxxie’s hits in one place. If you’re looking for some heavy-hitting rock, look no further than Moxxie. And be sure to get out and support them next Wednesday night at The Hi-Fi for the Battle of the Bands semifinals round three.
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.