Black Foxxes push the boat out and find their place.
Label: Search & Destroy Records
Released: 16th March 2018
Black Foxxes’ debut ‘I’m Not Well’ found them raging, cranking their instruments to eleven and battling to break out. ‘Reidi’ sees the trio branch out, but lose and find some clarity. Informed and inspired by an extended trip to Iceland, singer Mark Holley sounds more reflective than he did two years ago, and this comes through not just in the band’s lyrics but Holley’s more diverse vocal delivery.
Opener ‘Breathe’ finds Black Foxxes picking up where they left off, a building riff coming to a crescendo as Holley roars “I want to set myself free!” Freedom is one thing they’ve nailed on their second album. ‘Manic In Me’ slips their poppiest chorus yet into the guise of a heavy rock song, and ‘Saela’ shows that the preceding track was no fluke. ‘The Big Wild’ and ‘Am I Losing It’ are built on clean and catchy chord progressions that owe more to The Smiths than Nirvana, and allow Holley to explore the softer side of his voice. ‘Joy’ shows they can still tear it up and even finds time for a trumpet solo in a brilliantly orchestrated breakdown.
Acoustic guitars, keyboards and atmospherics are deftly interwoven with the rock and roll onslaught, giving the songs added depth and nuance but never detracting from their purpose. This newfound contrast, neatly illustrated in the album artwork, elevates ‘REIðI’ above its predecessor.
The Icelandic effect permeates the record from title and artwork, through to lyrical themes and the idea of expansion and discovery. Never abandoning their sound, Black Foxxes are able to push the boat out and find their place, with the final howl of “Now I understand rage” encompassing the confidence and acceptance on show. Having toured for years and climbing festival bills, with ‘REIðI’ finds Black Foxxes ready to step out on their own. Dillon Eastoe