When considering the pantheon of US punk bands that made a splash throughout the mid- to late-90s, Fenix TX rest just outside of that company. Yes, ‘Lechuza’ remains a criminally underrated album, but the Texans never had the same impact as bands like Green Day or The Offspring. They’re unlikely to do much today either, but they’re still ploughing on with their new five-track release ‘CRE.EP’, their first new material in 15 years after frontman Will Salazar’s stroke that nearly took his life.
And overall, it’s not too shabby. If mid-paced pop-punk with some nice meaty singalongs is an idea that appeals to you, then you’ll get a real kick out of ‘CRE.EP’, with cuts like ‘Church And State and ‘Bending Over Backwards’ doing a good job in this respect. Yet, ultimately, these five tracks bring little new to the table. ‘CRE.EP’ is solid enough, but it feels like a band who never managed to break out becoming complacent with their second-tier status.
Yet, as debilitating to this release as that criticism may be, it’s pretty much the only one. This isn’t a bad EP, showing an energy and joie de vivre that wouldn’t be expected from a band who have passed the twenty year mark. And though it’s nothing revolutionary in any department, there’s still a clarity to Will Salazar’s vocals, and tracks like the opener ‘Spooky Action At A Distance’ are enjoyable enough.
It’s pretty harmless overall, but that’s as far as you can go when describing ‘CRE.EP’ with anything close to a superlative. For anyone who fancies a bit of an old-school throwback, you could do worse than giving this a spin. But with new Sum 41, Green Day and NOFX albums on the horizon, Fenix TX will be lucky if this gets remembered.
‘CRE.EP’ by Fenix TX is out now on Cyber Tracks.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)