exclusive: stream west of neptune’s raw, massive fox meets rabbit

December 9, 2021
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“Soul disordered, cosmic collapse
Choke my life, lies broke the synapse
Those Fascists. The masses.
This welcome dumb distraction.”


There’s a restlessness behind the Boston metal act West of Neptune’s impressive debut. Not content to direct their fury at the brokenness of the world, they dig deeper, asking questions about the how and the why. Each new depth becomes an impetus for a new question, until they stare into the absurdity of it all. Righteous rage collapses into sardonic humor before the next question boils the blood again. This same insatiable need to go deeper infuses the band’s sound as well, which inhales so many sonic influences into its orbit, categorization is almost futile. Massively multi-tracked vocals with complex harmonies are shattered by bone-crushing screams while blast beats give way to jazz beneath the constant terror of buzz saw guitars.


Of course, this need to interrogate everything is fitting for a band fronted by a psychologist. Singer Candice A. Crawford-Zakian, Psy.D. uses maybe the most credentialed background in heavy music to diagnose society’s ills, from the pathetic fantasies of the neo-confederates in “The Lost Cause” to the toxic masculinity of the eponymous judge and his supporters in “KKKavanaugh.” The strongest moments on the record often come when AlonA looks inward trying to make sense of her experience like the standout opener “Earth Eats Zombies” and single “Supposed Dream of a Modest Nightmare” which rides a strategically deployed James Baldwin sample to some of the album’s highest heights.


“Dissociation. Just can’t stop thinking.
Standing ground but I just can’t stop sinking.”


Throughout, the band refuses to sit still, riffs stretching the definition of metal until it collapses into a surreal take on the Loony Tunes theme and a shape-shifting dub-inflected finale. Where far too many bands hone their “sound” until every song is a light variation of every other, West of Neptune push themselves instead to see how expansive they can get without losing their center of gravity. Fox Meets Rabbit pulls off the impressive feat of crafting a set of songs that each contain a unique identity without ever sounding scattershot. It’s an album that demands repeated listens to catch all the little details and easter eggs.


AlonA makes clear this is very much the intent, telling us: “This record is about the unsustainability of the current state of affairs – climate change, racism, exploitive capitalism and the myriad ways we chronically dehumanize each other and pillage the earth. There’s a reckoning afoot and this record proposes that inevitable change is going to come by way of shapeshifters and tricker energies that introduce what can often feel like chaos and havoc – especially when systems are stuck. We’re already in the midst of that chaotic change and it will likely get worse before it gets better, most especially because it takes people awhile to wake up and move. I hope that listeners go easter egg hunting in the multiple layers of meaning while letting the music reverberate loudly through their bodies. I hope listeners are simultaneously intrigued and disturbed, entertained and horrified and ultimately compelled to act towards something that feels meaningful enough to them to change about the current conditions in the world right now.”



Pre-order Fox Meets Rabbit via Bandcamp before it drops December 10th, and follow the band on Instagram @westofneptune for more.