Wsabi Fox is a performative art-prog project led by Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary performance artist, Jennae Santos. “Wsabi Fox was created in the wake of immense change in my life,” explains Santos. “The simultaneous breakup of a long-term relationship and band, combined with suddenly finding myself homeless. I am forever grateful that some important new friends and loves then came out of the Ether and Brooklyn music community,” she continues. “Their generosity and support helped me find my grounding, and empowered a new more articulate voice as an artist and bandleader.” Wsabi Fox’s EP, “GUSHING”, encapsulates the spirit of rebuilding after loss and finding a sense of inner freedom through love. The first you notice when you press play on Wsabi Fox’s single, “Yes Ma’am”, is that this project defies categorization. They can be described as experimental, progressive or alternative, and all will be right. To me Wsabi Fox simply sounds like one of the most devastatingly poignant progressive rock bands around today.
Kicking off the chaotic, mesmeric “Yes Ma’am”, Wsabi Fox’s intent is apparent from the get-go. A screeching Baritone sax gives way to crunchy, swirling cello and viola motifs and irrepressible drum syncopations but ultimately the anxious candor of Jennae Santos’ voice and lyrics cuts right through the forceful dissonance.
At nearly 7 minutes, the song manages to reach majestic peaks of devastating sonic grandeur. Santos’ vocals intensify the energy to the already menacing atmosphere, and never loses itself within the many imposing and spectacular climaxes found here.
“Diabolical Hue” is a heartrending and transmuting tale against a complex arrangement of symphonic swirling guitars and an ever-changing sonic atmosphere. The result is an eclectic masterpiece that has true meaning. It’s a rare thing these days but Wsabi Fox seem able to do it time and again.
There are moments of pristine beauty here, as well as punishingly heavy passages towards the end of the track. Setting out the project’s somewhat dynamic sound, the listener is treated to a host of moods, off-set by Jennae Santos powerful voice, and the angular strings.
“Flamingo” is a unique rock fusion that embodies lush instrumentation and offset drumming, together with notably creative lyrical accompaniment. Wonderfully executed through vocal intrigue, this exemplar songwriting can be found scattered throughout the EP.
Perhaps the most wonderful facet of the EP is the dynamic collaboration of instruments. From guitar interludes to saxophone bursts, and string twists, “GUSHING” encompasses the beauty and visceral power of each instrument and fuses them into a set of flawless and engrossing compositions. The album is, but a mere way to exemplify overcoming the fragility of human life.
This project will make you think about your life and it will teach you to move on. Whatever a listener’s interest, this recording is a must have for any lover of unique musical escapes. “GUSHING” is a strong and powerful EP, with emotion, dissonance and melody in abundance.
A strong set from an impressive outfit. It is a testament to progressive rock’s creativity and a salute to the new ways in which music can create affecting soundscapes and auditory hybrids. Imagery and emotions are what ultimately makes this project tick. In many ways, Wsabi Fox can serve as any discerning listener’s entree into a heretofore unexplored genre.
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