The Stone Foxes: Twelve Spells Review

Twelve Spells is the fourth and latest release from San Francisco blues rockers The Stone Foxes. The album begins with a rapturous feel from the haunting, devil’s strut and mechanized power of “Eye for Love,” the guitar muddling through the sludge of discordant sound and ultimately ringing as crisp as blue water with melodies flowing over one another in successive eddies of judgment. This clarity is soon violated by the crunching distortion and organic screech of “I Want to Be You,” a song whose instrumentation is at odds with itself in a schism of reason and fantasy, logistics and lunacy.

“This Town” features taut-to-the-point-of-breaking strings and a heartbeat percussive sound that give this reflective tune a Summery feel and“Cold Like a Killer” begins with a slow, bright, clear intro that evokes the grungy searches for feeling found in songs from Live, Pearl Jam, and Candlebox while the phased-out, strained vocals and the undeniably ghostly presence bring to mind the Southern gothic blues of The Silent Comedy’s “Bartholomew.” “She Said Riot” begins with screeching guitars and driving drums that rise to a gallop, reinventing the ‘50s sock hop twister with a dash of tweaked distortion.

“Dying Star” is metrically in contention with its title and is ultimately the fastest, liveliest tune off of Twelve Spells. “It Ain’t Nothin’s” intro strikes the listener with a chord of uniquity and rusted artifice that hasn’t been heard since Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B” and “New York Talk” is a mess of sonic experience that has the listener sample the creaking groan of a drop-tuned guitar, the manual percussion of clapping hands, and high-pitched feedback. This concoction of chaotic cadence is perhaps fitting for a track that explores the bohemian pilgrim’s progress through drugs, champagne, gutters, high-rises, street side shamans, and hotel-haunting phonies in a city where everybody wants to eat you… and you’ve got a hell of an appetite yourself.

“Jericho” is a wonderfully bitter imagining of a woman’s makeup-plastered face falling from the grace of beauty and “My Place” features an organ sound akin to Coldplay’s “Fix You:” the gentle, swelling bellows hum this song of belonging to life. “Greasing Up the Door Man” is a straightforward narrative of the Los Angeles nightlife and the key that opens all doors – cash. “Locomotion” shows what would happen if “Ace of Spades” met punk rock in a frenzy of boiling blood and sweat-slicked skin while “Count Me as One” is a decidedly slower ballad about trying to stay righteous after the ruin of post-adolescent naiveté. If you’re looking for an album that finds itself mired in the familiar sound of modern Southern blues rock and still manages to surprise with inventive melodies and creative imagery then look no further than The Stone Foxes’ Twelve Spells.

The Review: 8/10

 Can’t Miss Tracks

– Eye for Love
– I Want to Be You
– Cold Like a Killer
– Jericho
– Count Me as One

 The Big Hit

– Eye for Love

Review by McKinnie Sizemore

Buy the album: Amazon

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