Immediately and without introduction, Stone Cold Fox broke into song, utilizing their space by jamming back and forth with one another, playing a multitude of new music. Although it was an early show, the room was filled, and there was a glass in every hand.
On the edgier “Know Myself,” lead singer, Kevin Olken Henthorn’s vocals were hazy and sedated, and the room swayed hypnotized by the ethereal synths and piercing guitar riffs. “American,” the single from their debut EP, had everyone in the audience singing and bouncing back and forth to the overlapping, reverberating guitars and fast-paced beats. “Punch Drunk” slowed things back down with gritty vocals and eerie guitars before unexpectedly building up again with wailing guitar licks courtesy of Graham Stone.
“Give Up the Kids,” reminiscent of Modest Mouse, features stellar backup vocals and Kevin’s voice takes on a low-fi, dissonant quality. Rolling into “Graduation,” the whole band became wildly animated and bassist, Justin Bright, threw his long curly hair around.
With more of a hip-hop groove similar to Atmosphere, Kevin described “Man on the Moon” as “a new one, but a throwback,” and it was unquestionably the standout song of the night with dark vocals and a few screams. The vibe of the room changed as everyone silently watched, mesmerized by the band’s spirit and haunting melody.
Stone Cold Fox is undeniably catchy, and “Seventeen” started off sounding a lot like everything we’ve heard from them before, but towards the end it took at turn into howling guitars.
The new batch of songs as well as “Man on the Moon” show that the band is capable of breaking out of the conventional indie-rock niche. Not only is the band’s latest songwriting more inspired than their previous work, the instrumentals seem to be riskier, and tighter.
With a skillfully evolving sound and more new music on the horizon, Stone Cold Fox will not be ignored in 2013.