2021 BEST OF PHOENIX – Phoenix New Times
Why Flying Blanket Recording? For every positive review or accolade I bring up to Bob Hoag, he finds two where someone is calling him out. Whether it is just his access to vintage toys, or his accumulation of film paraphernalia that creates the vibe, or it is just that console – anybody can do what Bob Hoag can do if they have all that candy. Sure. That is what they say. And Bob is as humble as cherry pie. But the criticism raises a valid point. What is it? Is it tangible, this quality that makes carpets magic? I submit – Pop Confessions by Paper Foxes. When you dig into the Paper Foxes discography, you find a collection of singles and EPs dating back to 2015 (when, oddly enough they looked vaguely similar to their current lineup).
All of these songs show a four year progression from punk infused garage postmodern pop with Chopsticks & Merlot to their more and more focused songwriting and arrangements with the Dance of the Dead EP. But what you get with the first full length Paper Foxes record, is only three new songs. Every other song on the record has been on one of those previous singles or EPs. So what is new? Bob Hoag. And that album made it onto Ed Masely’s coveted the best unsigned band in Arizona spot. By listening to the older versions, and the Flying Blanket versions, back and forth you are really able to develop a sense of what Bob brings to arrangement and separate/ distinct mic recording. He gets sounds that just do not seem possible. But perhaps, it takes working closely with Bob, lurking in the shadows and the electronic hum of that control room, watching the djinn hard at work, listening to him hear notes that are not there, and explaining what he is hearing to a band with the capability of playing it. And in that a magic dance of creativity – you will see blankets fly. And that blanket flies neon bright on Pop Confessions! Now that you have heard a taste of what is coming next with the darkly dancilicious Crystal Ball, go back and revisit the first full length album from this rising Phoenix band!