Twelve Spells is the fourth record by The Stone Foxes. Quite irregularly, and I imagine jealousy inducing to many other bands, it is also their fourth album released without having signed to a record label. Through licensing their songs to TV shows and commercials they have managed to stay self funded to date.
Twelve Spells breaks straight into one of the strongest tracks on the album, Eye For Love. Initially small reverb riddled vocals and rippling guitar are suddenly backed by a wide spectrum of sound, from sludgy bass, to upbeat keys and drums. Simple but chewy riffs quickly dominate the track, backed by crackling vocals to create a track that is somehow both raw and polished.
The sounds are varied across this album. The Stone Foxes keep that core blues rock structure but venture out in many directions, with the part punky, part Motorhead-infused Locomotion and country styled Count Me As One being the most notable departures from the norm.
Occasionally while listening you’ll hear White Denim, Cage The Elephant or Jack White, but most prevalently you’ll hear The Black Keys. While the band do make efforts to push out in different directions, the stronger tracks on the album are those within that core sound, of which is very similar to The Black Keys.
This isn’t a problem though, as the band’s growing confidence and line-up (six now) mean that they have the ability to produce music of a similar style and, more importantly, quality to The Black Keys, whilst also having the instrumental diversity to stray out into different genres and see what works.
Their forays into different sounds did feel experimental here, and didn’t always work, but in their own words they’re “6 dudes who believe rock n roll can move mountains, and we’re gonna play it until we move one.” The Stone Foxes take a big step closer to doing just that with Twelve Spells.
Twelve Spells is released on 18 March 2016.