9/12/99: Orange County Register Orange County Register

Thornhill Review

Moxy Fruvous album shows why all the fuss

Cary Darling

What's in the Canadian water? First, it was the Canadians of "SCTV" and "Saturday Night Live" who hijacked our comedy industry, and now they're threatening to do the same this with humorous pop.

Barenaked Ladies have broken through here, and now comes Moxy Fruvous, a Toronto foursome with similar pop smarts but a more biting sense of humor.

Take these lyrics from "Downsizing," a track from the group's sixth album, "Thornhill": "We gave our times to a company planning our death / Well, it's a new challenge my family hasn't met yet."

Then there's this blithe observation on being equivocal in the hooky "You Can't Be Too Careful": "When you feel like Woody Allen for the dialogue / but you prefer Tarantino's vision / holding up the ticket line / is not the time / to make this decision."

It's these little bon mots, along with a knack for gracious harmonies and pop hooks galore (as in the exquisite "I Will Hold On"), that have given Moxy a rabid die-hard following north of the border. Like Deadheads, Moxy fans have been known to travel from gig to gig, and the Internet is choked with Moxy fan sites. "Thornhill" gives a good indication of what the excitement is all about.

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