.Fox Medicine headlines Sharkfest II

The exemplar of feel-good doom is a little rock combo out of Portland called Fox Medicine. Very little—just guitar and drums to deliver the musical punch of a blunt razor drawn across a blackboard.

For those of you reading this on social media, a blackboard is a dirtier, less effective precursor to a whiteboard. That’s how Fox Medicine treats the nostalgia of 90s hard rock, a sound that can fall flat in much of the post-metal music that flies under the banner of “doom” these days. Until recently a two-piece, the band specializes in being irreverent while leaning into the often avoided sonic possibilities of the genre. They call it bubblegum doom, and it rocks your ass.

“Bubblegum Doom is a term that developed naturally,” said guitarist and singer, songwriter, and frontwoman Neezy Dynamite. “I don’t think the doom guys really accept us yet, because we like more excitement and sugar in our doom.” 

music in the park san jose
music in the park san jose

The flashy style and bright colors belie a broader sensibility than is usually associated with groovy, riff-oriented doom rockers. Sure, all metalheads once fell in love with Black Sabbath, and Dynamite is no different in that regard. But then being different is kind of what she does best. 

“I’d rather invent something fresh that’s more unique and interesting to myself as an artist,” said Dynamite, who plays “dark and heavy because I find it soothing, but I’m also a really bubbly person with lots of excitement in my veins.”

The result is heavy, funny, scary, and affirming all at the same time. It may not be for everyone, but it sure is for this writer. I was lucky enough to discover Fox Medicine through a friend in the PDX area and to make the introduction between the band and local promoters North Bay Pyrate Punx, who started booking the band for their Sonoma punk shows.

At the first such show—at gay radical headquarters Brew Coffee and Beer House in Santa Rosa—the dynamic duo delivered more than I had expected. 

“Our shows are usually very intense, but also fun because we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s all definitely therapeutic for me and I hope for the crowd as well. I love that people get in a sort of hypnotic trance and start lifting off in their own world, just vibing and sometimes moshing,” said Dynamite. “I always encourage them to get crazy in the pit. It makes us so happy.”

She added that “the people that gravitate towards us usually are misfits themselves, and it all sort of clicks in and makes sense once people see us live.” No surprise then that my son and his buddy, who were both 13 at that show, have now formed their own doom-rooted, queer-forward rock trio. 

Tour Machine

Fox Medicine tours regularly, finding relief from day-to-day ennui. 

“In Portland, the winter months are so depressing, so we like to go south and sprinkle some bubblegum doom around,” said Dynamite. “[Touring] is our playground, we hit all our fave venues and skateparks and our fans are like family at this point.” 

The band has some exciting news to share with fans on this tour. On the heels of newly dropped single “Rattlesnake Valentine”—“a cute art-metal-y single that reminds me of Norwegian death metal meets the Powerpuff girls,” says Dynamite—Fox Medicine is now a trio, having added a bassist by the name of Dog Lord. The friend and fan now fits right in to bring that extra bottom end to double up Dynamite’s guitar crunch. 

Benefiting Local Misfits

This weekend, Fox Medicine will be playing the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma as a part of the Sharkfest benefit. The show helps to mark the band’s ascendancy from the coffeehouse scene to the premier punk venue north of the Bay.

“It’s a huge honor to play the Phoenix Theater and we are especially grateful to the amazing peeps at North Bay Pyrate Punx,” said Dynamite. “Those are incredible people, I wish every town had that kind of supportive community. They took us in like stray cats and they always take such good care of us each time we come through.”

The show benefits the needs of local unsheltered folks, a core mission of the Pyrate Punx. Fox Medicine, too, is guided by a higher purpose.

“I came here on a rock’n’roll mission to bring people closer to nature, closer to themselves,” said Dynamite. “The natural laws of the universe and things that are unseen fascinate me, because even though we don’t always see it, we are all secretly aware of the magic that exists all around us.”

Sometimes, the sound of destruction can build something truly beautiful.

Fox Medicine headlines Sharkfest II on Saturday night, February 10, at the Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington St., Petaluma. Check out their new single, “Rattlesnake Valentine,” on all streaming platforms.


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