I’ve said it before, and I’ll undoubtedly say it again: Black Foxxes are in a league of their own. Their live performances are an energy-soaked rock detonation, and their gifted song-writing skills set them apart from other monotonous bands that lurk desperately in their shadow. Yes, I may have become wrinkled in my appearance whilst waiting for them to finally drop their debut album, but I’m Not Well was certainly worth the wait.
Opening with title-track ‘I’m Not Well’, the album quickly marks its territory as being the soundtrack to a breakdown – and it’s a breakdown that you’ll be able to survive with the talented trio to guide you through. The emotion poured into every last single crevice is exhausting. It’s not an album to be played for background music and it’s not album to relax to; it’s an album that injects a thousand feelings into your bloodstream as it conquers issues of mental health and strife. This is exactly how music should be: a creation that influences all your senses.
Those who are already fans of the trio will be familiar with a few songs gracing the album. ‘River’, ‘Pines’ and ‘Home’ are relics from the band’s 2014 EP Pines, albeit with a bit of a production make-over. Personally, I feel that the original version of ‘River’ was a lot rawer, with Mark Holley’s screams sounding far more lingering, yet the tweaks still make for a powerfully draining listen nonetheless.
‘Bronte’ is a personal favourite on the album, and will strike a chord with anyone exhausted by life and tired of themselves. Likewise, ‘Whatever Lets You Cope’ is another equally emotive track with the ability to cause gooseflesh on its listener’s skin, with its deeply penned lyrics, doused in a tasty layer of delay.
With a lot of rock groups making music for the sake of it it’s easy to become desensitised to the genre. But Black Foxxes don’t make music for the sake of it, they have something to articulate, and I’m Not Well is a refreshing breath of fresh air in the face of monotony and stagnant music. I honestly don’t think the band could ever produce anything soulless if they tried.
Delicately yet ferociously challenging the matters of mental health, I’m Not Well is for those who can’t afford therapy and want to beat their emotional ailments to a bloody demise. Fans of Brand New take note, this manic explosion of an album is for you! My finger is gnarled and bloody from hitting so feverously at the repeat button, and I’m sure yours will be too.
I’m Not Well will be released on August 19th via Spinefarm Records.