Local four-piece Blackfox play sludgy, guitar-driven rock rooted in a kind of grungy blues that’s both dirty yet melodic. In June of last year, the band released their self-titled debut EP and have remained relatively quiet ever since. (I myself only managed to stumble across the record while chasing down the many side projects of Ryan Taylor who, in addition to handling guitar and vocal duties in Blackfox, can also be found holding down the bottom end for droney noise-rockers Aku You, embarking on improvisational guitar freakouts with experimental metal duo Rat Mass, and exploring quirky electronic beats and ambient textures under his solo moniker tay0. Apparently the man likes to stay busy.)
Overall the four-song effort is an uneven affair, but the moments when the members find themselves locked tight into one of their murky, buzzing grooves are certainly promising. “Sleepy Eyes” is by far my favorite of the bunch—the vibe is black and ominous and the spacing between the rumbling fuzz guitars and the echoing vocals is practically perfect. There are hints of early Soundgarden, Bowie and Sonic Youth spilling out all over the place, but the group never buckles beneath the weight of so much hero worship. Instead they hold their ground, keep the mood dark and eerie, and wait until just the right moment to unleash a blistering solo that’s just plain nasty. There’s nothing particularly new here, but damn if it doesn’t sound refreshing.
Give “Sleepy Eyes” a listen below and then head over to the Blackfox Bandcamp page where you can download their EP in its entirety for whatever price you choose.
Blackfox will perform tonight at the Earl in support of Brain. Athens rockers Tealvox open the show. Doors open at 9pm. Admission is $7.