The Stone Foxes: Twelve Spells

Racket from the crypt.

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Considerate enough to have made most of this album available free to download, San Francisco’s Stone Foxes prove to be a far more attractive proposition than their catchall name suggests.

They don’t bother disguising their influences. Opener Eye For Love is a parody of Kings Of Leon, but it’s a good one; the relentlessly boisterous I Want To Be You takes on a host of identities during a chanted harmony section. But if lots of this album could be a join-the-dots puzzle (Mott The Hoople, Stones, Yardbirds), the exercise is still an enjoyable one.

Highly accomplished, well produced and lacking pretension, these Foxes manage to update the garage-rock-sale sound and don’t often drag their feet. Cold Like A Killer isn’t particularly unpleasant; rather it jerks one along like a recalcitrant beast brought to heel.

N.Y.T. (New York Talk) is a dead ringer for the Dolls messed up by Big Star (excellent riffs). And they can do classic country too: My Place has a southern gothic clout; Count Me As One is a polite backhanded compliment to Jerry Garcia (well, they are from Frisco). Cut some slack, their spells work. And Denis Leary likes them, apparently.