British indie rock outfit Black Foxxes’ second full length album is an immediate departure from the band’s debut album I’m Not Well. Their initial sound was a refreshing taste of 90’s grunge and early 2000’s emo with hints of alt-folk, alt-country. The harsh and at time melodic style seen in I’m Not Wellis not so much thrown out or disregarded in their sophomore album, however, it is slowed down. The same themes of existentialism and angst appear in Reiði in songs such as “Manic in Me,” “Sæla,” and “Oh, It Had to Be You.” The melodic sounds that came out of songs such as “River” off I’m Not Wellare put into the limelight and carry the album as the primary vocal style. Dramatic tone changes and musical stylings make it hard to know if you are comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges.
The harsher tone in the band’s debut was visceral, the instrumentals worked in unison with lead singer and guitarist Mark Holley’s guttural vocal melodies. The slower, yet just as emotional, sound of Reiði is a reflection on youth, anger, and the evolution of their character. In the end that is what this album is, an evolution.
However, this album is still very much Black Foxxes, familiar vocal melodies and performances come up throughout the album that were heard on their debut. Songs at times will bring back that harsh style from before, such as in the song “JOY”. And the emotion and passion are all still present. This album, in relation to their first, appears to be reflective, a more mature outlook on the same ideas. The new acoustic sound isn’t simpler or lesser in anyway. The same superb instrumentals known from the band return and at times approve from their previous project. I recommend this album to anyone who listened to Black Foxxes debut, likes grunge, indie rock, and anyone looking for a new refreshing alt rock album.
Recommended If You Like: Fangclub, Big Spring
Recommended Tracks: 2 (Manic in Me), 3 (Sæla)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Matthew Stratton on 03/28/2018