FOX - Fox

Fox - Fox

10 songs
42:35 minutes
***** ***


After his time as a guitarist with punk rock band Versus You, Jimmy Leen started a solo project which soon became a full-fledged band, and not just any band. Fox is one of those acts where every single musicians has quite the impressive past. Second guitarist Charel Stoltz for instance played with Holy National Victims and is also one of the most sought after producers in Luxembourg. Bassist Tom Gatti should be known from Eternal Tango, and keyboarder Jérôme Klein plays with Carps’, Dillendub and many other bands. The two drummers Aloyse Weyler (Versus You, Sad But True, Dillendub,...) and Dirk Kellen (Couchgrass,...) also have left their indelible marks on the local music scene.

With so many established musicians coming together, one might think that too many cooks spoil the broth, but there is no reason to worry as the sextet is following consequently the one and same goal: Seventies styled rock, with a warm retro vintage sound. Starting right with the opener Strangers, we get a five and a half minute long soulful rock song that really takes its time to come to the point, but in a good way. Before the vocals even join in, we get a lengthy guitar solo to set the mood. The Hammond organ sets a warm undergrowth, and Jimmy Leen’s vocals are really good. Back In My Mind is a shorter track, with a relaxed pace, showing that Mr Leen is coolness itself with no need to rush. Fade Into The Sun is even mellower, some kind of ballad, although it is too muscular to be dismissed that easily. Crazy would be the ideal hit single, with its rootsy beginning and its South African sounding middle part. It is here where I got the impression that Jimmy Leen is the John Cougar Mellencamp to Versus You’s Eric Rosenfeld’s Tom Petty.

The album continues in that same vein. We get perfectly performed retro rock by musicians who not only know how to play their instruments, but also are no strangers to the mysteries of songwriting. Although to be frank, the album doesn’t really sound like coming from the Seventies, but reminds me more of the first wave of revival that happened in the Nineties. We are living in the tens now, and even though the second wave (or is the third one already?) is happening right now, this may not make Fox any kind of pioneers, but their dedicated approach and their really good songs make their epynomous album a must-have for every fan of handmade rock music. Take a look at the cover artwork that looks as if the CD or LP has been lying inside it for decades, and it only adds to the retro charm of the product. I didn’t know what to expect from Fox, but can only say that I got much more satisfaction than I expected.

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