I’ll admit it, this is the laziest piece I’ve ever had published. I’m on the list of contributors for a trade publication called Performer, and when they sent out an e-mail a few months ago asking for review submissions for the September issue, I pitched them The Stone Foxes. I wrote about them a year ago for good old [X]Press, having met the drummer through a friend. The first piece was a last-minute pitch, and this review was also a last-minute pitch. I also wrote a review of one of their live shows in a similarly last-minute fashion, after I ditched my assignment that night because, for some inexplicable reason, like two people had showed up to that show.
So, without further ado (and before I stick my foot any further in my mouth), here’s a review of The Stone Foxes’ latest, Bears and Bulls:
San Franciscans don’t have a lot to be bummed about, but if the blues were to come from anywhere in the city, it makes sense that it would blast out of an old house in the foggy, gray Outer Sunset district.
The Stone Foxes, a baby faced group of Bay Area twenty-somethings, come barreling out of the drizzle with Bears & Bulls, an authentic ode to 1974. The last time swampy, gritty, longhaired rock ‘n’ roll like this was popular, it was still ten years before any of the Foxes were born. Like the bands that have influenced them, The Stone Foxes are born out of the blues. That’s not to say, however, that this album is a downer. Bears & Bulls is an unstoppable rave-up that sounds like hard liquor and good sex.
With a passionate and addictive undercurrent, Bears & Bulls is a more than just a good time. Sure, there’s not a lot of intellectual meat to chew on, but that doesn’t mean the Foxes aren’t dynamite songwriters, and even San Francisco’s most cynical hipsters would have to agree that it just doesn’t matter when an album sounds this good. Listen to “Mr. Hangman,” a visceral, harmonica-laden jam, and “I Killed Robert Johnson,” a first-person retelling of the famed bluesman’s shadowy death.
After wowing enthusiasts with an explosive debut record, the general public is finally catching on as the band settles into their sound. (Self-released)