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Review: 8/10

Young Fox - predecessors
 
For Fans Of: Incubus, U2, A Perfect Circle
 
While this album is at home with an unassuming subtlety, Young Fox harness the passion and emotion through their music to spill over you and whisk you away. It’s a great debut from these guys that hits a bullseye with the ‘mood rock’ genre. The sonic presence of the instrumentation will hold it’s own, while the vocals are smooth and gentle, not forced or strained. All around great music.
 
Formed in 2012, Young Fox came together over drinks in a neighborhood pub in Pittsburgh. Martin Lunn (bassist), who’s also in revered metal band Zao, Luke Cypher (vocals/guitar/keys), who happens to share his time as the head chef at Piccolo Forno in Pittsburgh, and Chris Lehberger (drums) began writing, rehearsing and recording and eventually added Brian Schultz (guitar) to the mix, rounding out the four-piece band.
 
Quiet antecedents often lead to unexpected noise.

 

For two years, Pittsburgh PA’s Young Fox has been at work — writing, refining, building and honing. Foundational anchors were set at the fascinating intersection of homage and experimentation, and familiar outlines of past inspiration were redrawn with steady, confident hands.

 

“Our motivation was to put something beautiful into the world,” says bass player Marty Lunn, “we wanted to give the listener something to contemplate.” Such a lofty vision required deliberate steps, artistic synthesis, and the courage to wrestle with challenging thematic content in an authentic way.

 

With influences ranging from Sunny Day Real Estate to Fugazi, characterizing Young Fox’s sound is not a simple task. Predecessors is a journey of aesthetic variance, where melodic integrity meets power, lushness breaks for simplicity, and structure crescendos into recklessness.

 

“We really like that ‘wall of sound’ type of feel,” says drummer Chris Lehberger, “it’s like you can almost get lost in the wash of instruments. We were cognizant of layering in pretty moments as well — those types of melodies and riffs that take you somewhere else.”

 

The EP’s lead single, “The Answer,” opens with an unapologetic guitar riff, anthemic drum work, and building levels of distortion. After settling into a heavy melodic groove, Luke Cypher’s vocals enter and perfectly complete the range of sonic layering. The song’s chorus, confident and memorable, untangles a web of pain and redemption.
 

Who are we kidding?
We are all searching for something
Learn to love and be loved
This is the answer

 

 

Lyrically, a similar duality can be traced across the EP as a whole. As literal and figurative predecessors have come and gone, they have left behind a mosaic of imprints on the band. Over the course of five songs, Young Fox thematically explores the darkest of blacks and the brightest of lights.

 

“Our hope is that people connect with Predecessors in a meaningful way,” says Lunn. “I’ve seen a lot of negativity attached to music, and we want to try and guide people in a different direction.” Lehberger chimes in with a similar response, asserting that he songs exist to move their listeners toward redemption and positivity, “we want people to listen to our music and sense something freeing.”

 

On the more introspective track “Gather Up The Flowers,” the band explores the concept of mortality with a soaring, sustained chorus, gorgeous lyrics, and moments of appropriately heavy percussion and stacked guitars. The song exemplifies the band’s masterful intuition to restrain and punctuate at the perfect moments. This careful attention to each “moment” of each song infuses Predecessors with a cinematic appeal that warrants repeated listening.

 

 

While the EP is filled with challenging, exploratory content, the band’s collective disposition is both respectfully humble and delightfully upbeat. “The type of music we play is definitely an homage to the bands we grew up on,” says guitar player Brian Schultz, “we hope our love for the bands who helped us discover our sound is communicated through the EP.”

 

Like the static hum of an amp before the first chord is struck, Young Fox has awaited the proper stick count to unveil Predecessors to the world. “Timing is everything,” says Spartan Records owner/operator John Frazier, “and we believe that the time for Young Fox is now.”

 

 Debut 5-Song EP “Predecessors” out now at digital music outlets everywhere on Spartan Records! http://spr.tn/youngfox

 

 
Hear the full EP –
 

 

young fox

 

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