Californian band The Stone Foxes are a far cry sonically from what their hometown would have you believe. Rather than the sunny breezy tunes most bands from there produce, The Stone Foxes sound on Twelve Spells is raw bluesy rock, littered with tales of love and lust.
Opening track Eye For Love entices you in with metallic sounding guitars that provide the backdrop for vocals laced with haziness before it bursts into I Want To Be You. The overriding sound of the song is one the blues from the deep south yet modern influences creep their way in; flecks of keyboard weave their way between background vocals reminiscient of gospel choirs. The lyrics at some points are spat so fast the emotion they carry is hard to be ignored and it is this ode to rap that makes the musical direction of the band so hard to pinpoint, yet they do misdirection incredibly well. The indie element of their sound, recognisably inspired by bands such as Arctic Monkeys, brings with a swagger and nonchalance that the latter perfected on AM and The Stone Foxes tribute almost reaches their level, with The Town being the prime example.
Cold Like A Killer sees the sound slow, welcoming the listener with a creepy silenced tinged only with the occasional strum of a minor guitar and a high pitched key of the keyboard; The Stone Foxes are greatly talented in creating an atmosphere and effective story telling. Lyrics such as “Cold like a killer / Of my sweet dreams” are simple yet effective, particularly when repeated over a Halloween-esque guitar. She Said Riot and Dying Star hark back to the age of The Clash and the Sex Pistols with their raucous sound and energy that never seems to tire throughout and it is hard to believe such classic punk rock is produced by a band who proclaim to be a blues one.
The surprising hit of the album is New York Talk, that has an intro that reminds one of Rocking All Over The World, a fairly cringy song that is given an angsty makeover by The Stone Foxes, to brilliant effect. The return to blues is heralded in with Jericho, a song that will have you foot-stamping and clapping in time to its infectious beat that takes over your body. Simple music leaves the scratchy vocals to take centre stage, with their snarling delivery of the catchy lyrics. Closing track Count Me As One is a slow burner yet is a fitting end for Twelve Spells; you feel exhausted having listened to such an inexhaustibly energetic album. The simple piano and the breaking vocals are the perfect end to such a musical menagerie of an album. It’s a shame the album is only twelve songs.
For fans of: Alabama Shakes, Jack White, The Black Keys
Words by Clara Duffy
‘Twelve Spells’ by The Stone Foxes is released on 18th March.