"All you sinners on that westbound train."
At the start of rock and roll the generational the battlelines were well defined and they remained static for decades. The young rock and pop acts specifically targeted the youth market, and those acts that appealed to the average individual over the age of 30 were few and far between. Simply put, if you were a rock band and you weren’t alienating everyone over the age of 35, then you simply weren’t doing your job right. Then came the 1990s and the music industry started to become obsessed with spending as much time looking backwards as it did forwards. Suddenly there were a flood of bands that both you and at least one of your parents liked, the generational battle lines were forgotten and the chances of a parent walking into a room and saying “What’s this shit you’re listening to?” was vastly reduced.
Sadly, history has not been kind to those 90s acts with cross-generational appeal, particularly the Britpop hordes, however many lessons were learned by those acts that followed, so now we have bands, such as The Stone Foxes, who are working hard to perfect the alchemy of classic rock values and a modern rock sound.
Riff heavy, with a timeless swagger and lashings of swirling organ work, Twelve Spells is still every inch the modern rock album, and it seems that after a series of studio albums over the last decade and a recent first foray into playing live in the UK, The Stone Foxes are coming good. Originally released in the USA last year, it is finally getting a full release here in the UK.
The fact that The Stone Foxes have served a lengthy rock and roll apprenticeship instead of hitting the big time first time, indicates that they’re prepared to put the effort and let their career mature organically instead of taking the tempting short cuts to success. Such an approach gives hope for a lengthy and fulfilling career ahead of them, instead of the fate of being a temporary flavour of the month destined to disappear in a couple of years time.
Something else which I like about Twelve Spells is the fact that it doesn’t give you the impression the this is The Stone Foxes as the finished article. As good as it is, you still get the feeling that they still have room to evolve and grow. This is very much a good thing. Stick with them, and there’s every chance that their next album might be even better than this one. The Stone Foxes are a band that are on a journey, and they’re going all out to encourage you, the listener, to join them for the ride.