note from Jellybones editors
Querida Hija cover
A powerful exploration of identity by one of the screamo community’s current mainstays, if faltering somewhat from their previous songwriting strengths.
The Editors | October 24, 2019

“The Chickening” from screamo band Foxtail’s newest record Querida Hija opens with Megan Cadena-Fernandez scolding you in Spanish, declaring that when they speak, you’ll listen, and you’ll listen well for the first time in your fucking life, “forro” (an Argentine profanity). It’s an appropriate introduction to one of the more directly violent and aggressive records that Foxtails has released. The lyrics are confident and refined, portraying the full fury that victimhood sets into motion: “Rip out my spine/See what it’s like/Who asks twice?/Who asks nice!” It’s a style of poetry that can only be met with silence, and one that finds incredible strength when paired with a looming, ominous repetitive instrumental vamping and Megan’s incredible singing voice. The track “querida,” written in Spanish, is a remarkably terrifying track for one entirely sung, rather than screamed. It recalls the quiet terror of Foxtail’s brilliant previous album, III, and is an ever-present reminder of Megan’s identity and origins as one of the few Latinx higher-pitched screamo vocalists. Megan’s identity is one easily marginalized and discriminated against - but I dare anyone to attack them with the same ferocity found in their voice and lyrics, as found in this record.

But while Megan’s screaming is full and intense as ever here, the hardcore-style instrumentals and songwriting fall flat to me, lacking the melodic foundations that I so loved in III, causing the vocals (put highly present and forward in the mix) to lack the impact they had for me previously, where they blended amazingly when put farther back in the mix, a particularly quirky preference of mine. The jazz influence (with the saxophone opening the track “it was the first time i remembered a saturday night i forgot about”) and math rock aspects, however, accomplish exactly what they aim - melodic enrapture, an ironic biting, a perfect post-punk atmosphere adding up to the question Jeff Rosenstock posed on POST-: what do you do when “me quedo sin voz,” when your voice gets stuck in your throat? It surely has to escape somehow, despite the efforts of some around you to silence them, and perhaps the appropriate response is a blood-curling, guttural scream…