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Fresh Tracks with FOXTRAX

Benjamin Lederer

Benjamin Lederer

Concert Reviewer and Events Volunteer at Portland Radio Project
Benjamin Lederer

Latest posts by Benjamin Lederer (see all)

Ben Schneid’s fingers hit the keys as the sun set outside of Lola’s Room Thursday night May 24. He began one of the band’s slower ballads as a few stray NBA fans straggled up from the bar TV towards the stage.

As Schneid led the band (keys/guitar, lead vocals), Jared Stenz backed him on bass, with Jon Stenz on drums.

FOXTRAX, a three-piece band hailing from New York City, played a relatively short, upbeat set including: a few songs from their 2016 debut EP, “The Cabin,” (released after the band spent weeks in a secluded cabin, writing); “Underwater,” with its catchy guitar riffs and bass-drum heartbeat; and “I’ll Be Back for You,” which began with an eerie drumbeat, building to Schneid’s guitar and vocal energy into the chorus.

One of this band’s strengths is their ability to contrast slow, verse-driven spats to lively, drum-and-guitar-heavy peaks. Many times, I saw Jared and Jon Stenz mouthing lyrics – get those two on mic!

Schneid spoke about FOXTRAX’s  recent three-week tour, then played us a grungy new song reminiscent of old songs by The Offspring. Does this mean a new EP is in the works? The band has recently put out some really good hit singles.

Pumping up the crowd again, FOXTRAX played “Everything’s Changing,” featuring Jared Stenz’s solid bass line throughout. From verse to chorus, Jon Stenz’s drums and Schneid’s guitar went from soft and steady to fired-up and jumping. Schneid matched that energy by doing some jumps – and virtuoso guitar solos – of his own.

FOXTRAX ended a great show with their most recent single, “Lonely Man on the Island,” a lament Schneid opened with a lone howl about loneliness and isolation.

“He kept searching for someone or something/ Hoping someone would find him.”

Keep an eye on FOXTRAX. As the band continues releasing more energetic and exciting music, you may see them at bigger venues, perhaps as a headliner in the future. To learn more about FOXTRAX, check them out on their website, Facebook or Bandcamp page.

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