Zox Take Me Home

A lot of people would argue that there's no place for classical music in rock, much less reggaeified rock. Zox would beg to differ. From the balmy shores of Rhode Island this quartet thinks that skankin' and Pachelbel can go together and, with their secret weapon, conservatory violinist Spencer Swain, bowing classical melodies overtop the band's rockin' racket, they seem to have hit upon a niche. Think Sublime meets the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra (oh yes, there was such a band). But, like said Orchestra, the fusion isn't always smooth. While tracks like "The Squid" find common ground between the violin and the dread rock it accompanies, other songs, especially the ill advised cover of "Pachelbel's Canon," or "Leavin' Me" (the Stones want their "Bittersweet Symphony" riff back) are too kitschy and stray dangerously close to novelty material. It will likely take Zox another album or two to hammer out the bumps and really secure an original formula that works. Points for an original approach though. (Independent)