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Phillip Fox Band



Phillip Fox
Jonathan Kampfe
David Morckel
Austin Nill


            Country-Fried Rock N’ Roll sounds like something interesting as well as something that would come out of Sweet Ole’ Alabama or Tennessee. Well in reality only one of those items are correct. Phillip Fox Band hails from my home state Ohio, yes I said OH-IO. They quartet just released their debut album that is full of hope, love, loss, and the truth, items that we all know well. The band formed in 2011 out of Columbus from a few solo artists getting together for little tour. The tour turned out to be more than expected and they ended up recording each show. The guys released the recordings and then decided to go all in. March 2011 the guys began touring even more including SXSW in Austin. Their first EP was released in 2012 and they began to work on their debut album in 2013. The album arrived in stores in mid 2014 and features 12 tracks. They get Heartland rolling with “You Are the Girl,” a track that really shows the country side of things right off the bat. The sound of the tunes as well as the vocal twang shows you exactly what you should expect. The vocals are smooth and pretty clear throughout the track. They are easy to follow along with. The music is fairly laid back for the most part, but they do get into the groove during a short solo section and they also maintain it through the ending. “Writin a New Damn Book” has a super country feel to it. The vocals still offer up the twang feel to them, but it’s the music that really lays into the country side of things. It’s a decent track and offers up something that could be danced to as a show. I can see the line dancing coming out in full force for this number. “Been Workin Hard” opens up with a fast pace piano strike before the vocals come strolling in looking to tear the place up. The vocals deliver a sweet sound while the music backs them up. The guys add in some extra items in and out of the track that might tickle your fancy, I know one of those things nearly always grabs my attention. This one is a fun little number that I can see lots of people getting into. I could get use to hearing tracks like this one. “Lovin You (Never Felt Like Work)” is a huge country chunk. The slow moving track offers up drawn out vocals and distinct country tunes. This definitely not my cup of tea, but it sounds decent and flows well. “Ava Lee” is a slower tune with clear vocals and an easy going feel. The guitars are solid while the drums lead the track with a simple beat. I can see more line dancing with this one and I also feel that many people will enjoy this little number. “Nothin Worse Than Weak” sounds like an old western tune with the running horses in the back ground. The vocals are rough in a good way while the music rolls along with ease. The track grabs your attention with several of those items including some horns that they toss in the fold. The progression is a bit odd the way the vocals take over in places and the instruments taper off almost entirely. I think that some people will like the uniqueness of this track, but it’s going to take a special taste. “Heartland” is full country. The twang reappears in full force while the tunes are laid back and floating along like clouds on a summer day. I can see a lot of country fans jumping on this one. I feel it’s more on that side than the southern rock side, but now-a-days those two lines are blurred anyways. “We All Lose Somethin” offers up a killer groove that is easy to get into. The guitars roll along while the drums guide the tune down the track. The vocals are smooth and easy to pick up. This is a phenomenal track that I could get use to hearing. Everything comes together so well hits hard to ignore and the lyrics are definitely on target as well. “I’d Be Runnin Too” opens up with a great intro that will get your blood pumping. The guitars rip through a progression while the drums hit aggressively behind them. The vocals then enter with a strong presents and offers up a strong set of lyrics. The country style is in full effect in this one, but they toss out the fast paced tempo along with it that mirrors a rock side. “Cancer Cannot” is a slower track with a deep meaning. You can see that right from the title, but it’s the lyrics that you will latch onto. The lyrics aren’t the only thing that will get you. The tunes behind them do the song justice as well. The guitars step up a couple times while the drums lay a simple pace. The vocals convey the lyrics in a near perfect outing. “Don’t Forget Me” keeps the album slow with another passion filled offering. The vocals are low and raspy while the guitars strum along with ease. It’s a nice little track that I think will stick with many people. “I Ain’t Angry (But I’m Feelin Mean)” wraps up the album with a very long number. Coming in over 8 minutes it opens up with a very long intro that builds before the vocals come strolling in. there are moments where the track is a bit boring, but there are also places where the track really picks the pace up and does the album well. It’s a longer track so there are bound to be lulls, but I think that they do a pretty good job at minimizing them. The overall vibe of the tune is stellar and is something that you can listen to when it comes on. Speaking of that, there aren’t too many tracks on the album that you really want to skip. It’s a very solid release that you can put in and let run. I really enjoyed the variety of this release. I’m not use to hearing that type of music and it really caught my attention and had me sticking around. The vocals also were slightly different. I have heard low vocals as well as rough, but there was that little twang to them as well that’s sets them apart. There are several tunes that stand out among the others, but nearly every one of them is pretty solid. Their unique sound that they offer will draw attention from a few angles.


Rating: 8 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Been Workin Hard, I’d Be Runnin Too, Cancer Cannot


Track List:

  1. You Are the Girl
  2. Writin a New Damn Book
  3. Been Workin Hard
  4. Lovin You (Never Felt Like Work)
  5. Ava Lee
  6. Nothin Worse Than Weak
  7. Heartland
  8. We All Lose Somethin
  9. I’d Be Runnin Too
  10. Cancer Cannot
  11. Don’t Forget About Me
  12. I Ain’t Angry (But I’m Feelin Mean)


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