Guildford based four-piece Following Foxes are something of a new name to me, but apparently the indie rock band have been picking up plaudits from the likes of The Musical Melting Pot and BBC Introducing, whilst making a name for themselves for supporting the likes of Winter Island and Yearbook among others.
A couple of previous singles have picked up radio play on the likes of Eagle FM, Radio Warwick and the alike, with the band’s debut, self titled EP likely to see the band further enhance their reputation.
The band mix and match a combination of infectious vibrant indie, with a touch of folk and the harder hitting sounds of Biffy Cylro to create a sound that’s both unique and instant.
The opening track, Almost Like It, serves as a tasty introduction with frontman Gid Smedgwick emoting over a combination of laid back acoustic and electric guitars aside a barrage of meaty drums before winding up to a glorious harmony-enriched vocal hook and a passionate holler.
I Saw, You Saw Me Back is even better, opening as a somewhat folky number before a choppy guitar joins the mix, creating a jerky indie sound, reminding me of a harder hitting, Mystery Jets, whilst the brief middle section has a Floyd like quality. Waiting For Someone comes complete with the aforementioned vocal harmonies, a towering sing-a-long chorus, a number of interesting time changes and a lovely acoustic outro, whilst Mother Brother is an equally impressive genre straddling combination of folk, infectious indie and driving acoustics all topped with those aforementioned winning harmonies.
The self titled EP is an intriguing and infectious introduction to an inventive take on the indie genre, if Following Foxes can continue in the same vein you can expect the band to move onto to bigger and better things in the near future.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 9
The Blues is one of those genres that seems to fall in and out of fashion or at the very least in and out of the mainstream public eye, currently it seems to be riding a crest of a wave with the likes of Joe Bonamassa leading the way and young guitar slingers such as Laurence Jones, Danny Bryant, Jo Harman and the alike all snapping at his heals.
Krissy Matthews is another up and coming blues guitarist who to date has shared the stage with everyone from john Mayall and Greg Allman to Beth Hart and Derek Trucks among many others. The 22 year old has already picked up plaudits from the likes of Maverick and R2 magazine, whilst legendary songwriter/producer Peter Brown (Jack Bruce, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, etc) fell for Krissy’s talent and promised to collaborate, having seen him perform live, with the eventual unison resulting in Krissy’s new album, Scenes From A Moving Window. The album bridges not only the generation gap between Pete Brown and Krissy but also blues sub-genres from the full on blues rocker to delicate finger-picking via a bit of boogie-woogie piano as the duo explore the possibilities of their union.
The album opens with a weathered voice and an incredible piece of classic finger picked acoustic guitar before If I Had A Time Machine transforms into a brilliant infectious homage to Krissy’s forefathers name checking the likes of Cream, Hooker, Hendrix and the alike over a collision of blues and powerpop complete with 70’s styled backing harmonies, Hammond like keyboard and a barrage of drums and riffs. The chorus and aforementioned backing vocals instantly hook the listener, whilst Krissy and his backing band kick up a proverbial storm before returning to the acoustic finger picking bringing the track full circle.
I’ve Been Searching proves that the opening track was no one of fluke, as Krissy lays down a Zeppelin/early Purple like groove with hard hitting drums and riffs collide and compliment funky keyboard, whilst Krissy proves he’s no slouch with a short and sharp solo that has both flair and substance.
It Ain’t Worth It promotes Paul Jobson’s keyboard to the foreground as Krissy lays down a blistering slice of boogie-woogie, complete with an instantly infectious sing-a-long chorus and enough swagger to get any bar room swaying, whilst Pete Brown himself joins in towards to the end on backing vocals, with his aged vocals complimenting Krissy’s smooth delivery wonderfully.
Highlights come thick and fast, funky guitar licks and pumping organ signal the glorious groove-laden Out Of Control, Bubbles And The Seven Phones is an otherworldly psychedelic number complete with hovering harmonies, pattered percussion and a flooring, mesmeric instrumental wig-out, Roadsick Blues sees Krissy hit the dirt track with an irresistible, rollicking tongue in cheek country number complete with holler along vocals and parping harmonica, whilst the near ten minute Heading South is a beautiful slice of sun-kissed soulful blues with dazzling instrumentation and bewitching vocals.
Krissy Matthews has delivered a varied and truly intoxicating take on the blues, welding influences old and new to create an album that should be an essential purchase for anyone with a passing interest in rock or blues and see Krissy spoken in the same tones of the modern day giants of the genre.
Worcestershire based, three-piece alternative rock behemoths Kill The Romantic follow up their debut album (reviewed elsewhere on this very site) with a brand new four track EP (once again produced by Dave Draper), that sees them retain their combination of hard hitting riffs and infectious riffs, whilst adding a new found urgency, to create a punchier more immediate sound.
Each of the tracks have those impressive time changes and sudden twists and turns that compelled on the band’s debut, Collapsed Under Our Creation, but now the structures are condensed and instant, with the band moving effortlessly through the gears from melodic to raucous in the blink of an eye.
Bipolaroid Picture kicks proceedings off with a barrage of drums and an orgy of riffs before twisting into a glorious, melodic post hardcore/alternative rock monster, complete with intricate guitar twists, crooned and bellowed vocals, thrilling stop-starts and an all important killer hook, compelling the listener from the off.
A Great Day To Die is a fantastic showcase of the band’s vision, uniting crunchy riffs and battered drums with an almost sedate, melodic middle section that sees frontman Dale Tomkins unveil a delicate croon before the song twists again before its conclusion. The contrast of light and shade is stunning with the heavier elements seemingly hitting even harder after the more melodic passage.
The two remaining tracks, the intriguingly named How Tall Can A Midget Stand and the title track, Fight Or Flight add harmonies and oft kilter hooks to an already potent sound giving the band an almost commercial sound (in the same way that Biffy Clyro are radio friendly these days!!) yet still retaining their own unique identity and vision.
Kill The Romantic’s debut album was impressive, but the new EP sees the band progress to another level entirely, this is essential for anyone with even a passing interest in textured alternative rock or melodic post hardcore.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 10