Alternative Rock

The Nixons Foma

Foma is quite the humbucker heavy album, with heavy rockers like Foma, Trampoline, and Fellowship. These songs are balanced by acoustic led ballads like the hit single Sister, and the understated Passion. Happy Song is just that, and Wire is the gem. The mid 90s were everything we needed.

A bunch of guys from Oklahoma make a pretty decent hard rock album, only to have a soft rock hit in Sister.

The Nixons played an incredible show in Boston that 107.3 WAAF broadcast, one that a young Fizz managed to tape.

And I wore that tape out. It had a few songs from Foma's follow-up self-titled album from 1997, like The Fall. But it certainly featured many songs from the post-grunge Foma. If you're wondering what Lead singer Zac Maloy is up to now, he ended up in Nashville writing hits for important folks like T-Swizzle. At least, I'm pretty sure.

The Nixons' Foma isn't Nevermind, Ten, or Siamese Dream, but it should be in your 200 CD Case Logic nylon media case booklet.

Where was Foma recorded?

In Los Angeles, at One and One and Devonshire Studios in North Hollywood. The year was 1995. The Label was MCA. The producer was Mark Dodson.

Foma, their second album, cracked the Billboard Top 200, but not highly, peaking at 77th. Sister had the most commercial success as a single for the album and in general for the band.

According to the album's liner notes, Foma is, "harmless untruths intended to comfort simple souls; lies."

That's a theme that lyrically runs through Malloy's compositions on the albums. It feels as though Zac is coming to terms with his place in the world, his relationship with his faith, his understanding of spirituality, and of course, being in a radio-friendly rock band in the mid 90s.

Apparently the word/term/song title comes from Bokononism, a made up religion in Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut. Who knew?!

Song notes

The Nixons scored national acclaim for Foma's fourth track - Sister. From there, Happy Song, Passion, and Wire lead the way.


A song about little white lies.

Foma reminds me that The Nixons were a bit harder than I remembered. Easy to do when the band wrote a song named Happy Song.

Foma rocks a bunch of Sixteen Stone bends.

Crown of thorns? Was that a thing in the 90s? I know it was a song on the Singles Soundtrack

Straight from the AAF archives ...

Head is a prototypical rock tune for a midwest band in the 90s. Apparently Oklahoma got all of the writing talent that Kansas lost.

What is that you ask? Just a way to say that Foma is a better album than Paw's Dragline, a band from Kansas.

Sweet Beyond

Sweet Beyond has a Helmet Unsung thing going on in the verse. The Nixons are much more hard rock than I remember. Amazing what happens when a band gets remembered for their ballad (Sister).

I lay the flowers on your grave. Pretty decent line.

Lotta wah pedal from Jesse Davis so far on Foma.


Sister might have been the song of the year in 1995. Not officially, but it was all over the airwaves.

The Nixons' Sister is a tour de force in songwriting. Emotionally cognizant. Wonderfully composed. The original album version is great.


Can you see my halo!?

Jesse Davis is heavily featured on Smile. Lots of bends, a few pinch harmonics, and a rich, thick tone on the guitar solo.

The lyrics are mildly confusing. Are The Nixons angry? Are they excited? What is going on in Smile?

JLM (Jesus Loves Me)

A little girl sings Jesus Loves Me.

Is this a 90s christian metal album?!


Fellowship is easily one of the most bad ass songs on Foma.

More Sixteen stone bends. Humphrey and Brooks are heavy in sync with 32nd notes? Jesse Davis dances across the fretboard a bunch as well.


Acoustic opening. But a bad ass riff. Not a 90s sap acoustic opening. Wire rocks.

Wire is as good as The Nixons gets. Maloy slays the vocals. Definitely a bitchin' tune.

Mortal men. Gods.

Legit power in the power chords. Davis's solo complements the song, as opposed to trying to steal the show. A bit of Sponge's Plowed in the octave guitar work.

Absolutely HUGE ending from everyone: drums, bass, lead guitar, vocals!


Great work by Ricky Brooks on Bass.

Trampoline is a great song. Great guitar tone, good rock drums, heavy bass.

Drink the Fear

Glenn Tipton, a Judas Priest guitar player, stops by the studio to leave a guitar solo on Drink the Fear.

And, it's a good one. His guitar tone is is great and his playing is real tight.

Drink the Fear ends with a EVH style shred piece. Cause why not.

Thinking back on Tipton, how did they convince him to jump on the album? Was he someone's Uncle? Did he owe the producer a favor? The Nixons and Judas Priest aren't Peanut Butter and Jelly.


Blind rests somewhere between Ten and Badmotorfinger.

Rock solid rhythm from Brooks and Humphrey. Sounds like a tune in Drop D.

A bunch more Wah pedal on this album than I remembered. And, way more guitar bends on Blind than I recalled.


The Nixons pump the brakes to give you Passion. Full throttle and then voila, a wildly authentic song about loss.

He doesn't see her anymorrrrrrre. He's somehow forgotten what it is he's promised to be there for. But there's something there, something left, that keeps her by his side, close her eyes, she remembers the passion!

The strings are exactly what Passion needed.

The haunting oooohs from Zac Maloy also help.

Happy Song

YES! Happy Song is the feel good track of Foma. And it should be.

Bass in your face. Wah pedal guitar work in your face. Power chords in your face. Drums in your face.


La La La La-La!

To be honest, Zac, if you're reading, you're welcome to stay for dinner at my house.

The Happy Song lays a false ending upon us. We didn't know we needed it, but we did.

More Foma Details

Foma Info
Release Date
Producer Mark Dodson
Studio One and One | Devonshire Studios
Record Label MCA |

Reviews of The Nixons Albums

The Nixons Foma album cover

Alternative Rock