"Oxes manage to put a unique spin on m&*h-rock and metal. Let's be frank: M@t#-rock is some boring, noodly-ass shit that, by packing "surprises" into every abrupt meter and dynamic shift, completely squanders its capacity to surprise. Oxes focus on m#@h-rock's bodily, combustible potential and turn it into drunken party music, never forgetting which part of the genre's name is the modifier and which is the foundation." -Pitchfork
Oxes formed in the summer of 1998, blah blah blah blah. Madonna’s birthday.
In 2005 the band was incarcerated for melting down their wireless solid-aluminum guitars that they infamously stumbled upon deep inside a volcano in the Andes. Without delay they were sent to L’Usine, a Boys’ Prison in Geneve, Switzerland. There, in time, the trade of sugar packets and rolled cigarettes for a song kept them from losing their minds. Guitarist Nat Fowler was able to maintain peace during lunch in the mess hall by teaming up with maverick night watchwoman Lindsay Lawson to form PANTYLOAD PRISON RIOT KARAOKE. As other miscreant boys belted out slowed-down midi versions of Lady Gaga and George Michael, guitarist Marc Miller retreated to the prison’s chapel, where religious based free-jazz was in dire need of improvement for the parish, and the pastor Will Redman took him in and created the Microkingdom (of heaven.) With a few shanks and some help from the remaining female security guards, drummer Chris Freeland was able to carve out a recording studio in the limestone foundation, Beat Babies, where he secretly recorded Baltimore bands in exchange for sugar. Lower Dens, Wye Oak, and Double Dagger were nearly killed. Crazy Dreams Band was.
It wasn’t until a left leaning Baltimore mayor Dan Deacon extradited them, so they could play his 3rd edition of the Whartscape Arts and Culture festival in 2008; that the band saw sunshine and grass again. Oxes were able to pull it off even with international police helicopters hovering above, literally spotlighting their reunion. Six more concerts in the UK, with Squire guitars, set Interpol on full alert. They were sent back to L’Usine. The warden had commandeered the Oxes’ boxes for her office, but without Pantyload, riots began, and the band crowdsurfed over the watchtowers. Solitary confinement had indeed been the chill before the storm.
After carefully disguising themselves to look “older,” they appeared at the 5th and final edition of Whartscape “Z0I0.” Here they were the only band not to play on stage or floor, rejecting both forms of expression. Instead, for or the sake of survival, hiding in the abandoned storefront opposite the festival, using this space as their own boys’ prison-like riot scene. Combining all their new skills acquired behind bars they initiated the new material for a series of 12”s on Africantape that they beg people to listen to at the wrong speed, or convert to midi.
"Conversing about the Oxes live only works between people who've already experienced Nat sneering six inches from their faces while sandwiching a note-perfect Foo Fighters cover between the two halves of an Oxes original. Skeptics who label the band's peripatetic antics "performance art" are spot-on, but so what? It rocks, and the only band that approaches their level of showmanship is [REDACTED], but they only offer a single loose cannon to the Oxes' three. So if you heard they rule live, you heard right."