Review: The Stone Foxes – Twelve Spells
Twelve Spells is the fourth full length album from Californian blues rock group, The Stone Foxes, and takes the band into the slightly more psychedelic side of bluegrass. While different, there is very little that is modern about this album, besides the fact in combines multiple sub genres of blues. From the church like back-up vocals and organ, to the wholesome twang of the harmonica; it has that timeless feel about it.
Some of the album emits a Jack White-meets-Motorhead vibe, and other bits sound like Augie March. Regardless, the diverse nature of the album, but also how it holds classic blues qualities, is what makes it an interesting listen. Anyone who’s a fan of the Black Keys or Alabama Shakes would enjoy this.
The opening track Eye for Love is a phenomenal encasement of psychedelic blues rock, the song writing of front man Spence Koehler appears to stand out vividly on this track. The more powerful songs on this album appear to be the slower ones, the ones with the real bluesy and perplexing atmospheres.
Taking on the glamorised lifestyle that comes with being a rock star, and in light of losing some pretty influential musicians over the last 24 months, The Stone Foxes released Dying Star which touched on some of these issues.
In light of the film clip for Dying Star, released earlier on in February, Koehler said “If we’ve learned anything from losing some of our favourite artists lately, it’s that you never know when it’s gonna be over. Since we’re lucky enough to be backstage every night drinking beers and considering it as part of our “job,” then I’m gonna make damn sure not to take it for granted. That’s what the song is all about, enjoying the party while it lasts. So when I heard we’d be playing in space suits with two animated/partying astronauts, and my head would blow up at the end, I figured the video was going in the right direction.”
Jericho, with its gospel call and response, is one of the tracks that give this album its spark. You can close your eyes and almost imagine a point in time from which they are drawing their influences from. My Place is another stand out – you are escorted through the five minute ballad by the evocative slide guitar and a simple yet powerful combined vocal and guitar melody.
The album is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a select few tracks that enable it to be so rather than a final cohesive product.
Review by Travis Jordan.