Album Review: Black Foxxes – Reiði

Black-Foxxes-REIDIBlack Foxxes – 

Alternative Rock | Dream Pop | Post Punk

88%

It’s no secret that second albums can be devilishly difficult. They require a development in sound, whilst still carrying forward important hallmarks from the debut. After their stellar first album I’m Not Well you’d be forgiven for thinking that Black Foxxes would fall flat with the follow-up as so often happens, but instead they’ve set the benchmark that other bands should aspire to. Though its name may translate as ‘rage’,  Reiði is a more subdued affair than its predecessor. Much of the aggression has been toned down in favour of exploring more expansive sounds akin to fellow Belwood favourites Wolf Alice and The Amazing. There is still plenty of that raw energy that dominated the debut to be found here, albeit a tad more focused and contained. As well as Iceland inspired soundscapes this record places a greater emphasis on big hooks, and channels that passion to deliver them to best effect.

The ambitious opener ‘Breathe’ and the radio friendly ‘Manic In Me’ do well to induct you into the new record, providing a fine balance between the new chilled out vibes and the classic aggressive approach. My only issue is that in many places the lyrics lack the same depth found on the debut. ‘Oh, It Had To Be You’ and ‘Am I Losing It’ offer the record’s most poetic lyricism in their verses, but even these are a bit too eager to fall back on repetitive hooks while I’d rather be kept in suspense a while longer. With the final two tracks however all faults stand forgotten as you bask awhile in the band’s best work. Album highlight ‘Take Me Home’ has hints of Jeff Buckley while the swirling closing track ‘Float On’ sees them at their most expansive and ambitious. Reiði has surpassed my high expectations and I have the utmost faith that Black Foxxes will continue to deliver.

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