The British Indie scene is booming, so much so that it’s difficult to find something really fresh in the genre. London based The Foxes’ first studio album Last of Many has the crucial edge needed for an indie band to stand out. Their sound is sometimes cheesy, other times classic rock ‘n’ roll, with obvious influences from The Beatles, The Kinks and Queen. While the lyrics aren’t exactly top notch, the band make up for it in other ways. The clear and simple vocals suggest unsophisticated, mild-mannered music, but The Foxes keep the album interesting with surprisingly complex tracks that provide fluidity while still seeming effortless. Vibrant harmonies weave between striking rock n roll guitar that creates a radio-friendly retro sound.
Last of Many was produced by John Cornfield, who has previously worked with the likes of Muse, Razorlight, Supergrass and Oasis. The band formed in 2006 when Nigel Thomas (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Alex Douglas (bass, backing vocals) formed an acoustic duo. Later joined by Jonathan Bretman (lead guitar) and Stephen Wilde (drums), the boys left the security of their jobs and toured the US and the UK. They have released two EPs, Love, Killer in 2007 and Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame last year.
The first few tracks are bursting with life, particularly opener ‘Suzy’ with its killer riff, and super catchy ‘There’s something about you’ with its sweet, high vocals and delicate guitar. ‘Run’ is great at keeping the interest with surprising twists and turns throughout. ‘Sweet Little Wonder’ is deliciously twee, but the vocals in the verses make the song sound like something from a cheesy children’s telly programme. ‘Too Little Too Late’ has a similar problem, with the verses making it seem like a Broadway Theater production.
As the album progresses it loses focus, with the tracks blurring into each other as it all gets a bit samey. ‘The Sad Thing’ saves it with it’s western style guitars, the track swinging between a sad ballad to a punchy grunge song. The last thing you expect is for it burst into attitude half way through and slip into a rocking guitar solo. This ability to surprise the listener while still churning out easy on the ear tunes is what really shines throughout the album. Yes, there are some bland tracks (avoid the repetitive ‘Out of Service’) but for a first effort this album has some real corkers on it. Be sure to listen out for more from The Foxes in the near future. Last of Many is released on 5th December, so add it to your Christmas list.