Sky Beats Gold
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Pittsburgh, PA’s Young Fox return with their first full-length record, Sky Beats Gold. The album was self-produced by the band and helmed by THE Marty Lunn (Zao and also the band’s guitarist). The band’s swaying, Alt Rock vibe feels very influenced by the late nineties/early 00’s emo scene but it never allows the influence to totally take, enabling it to keep a modern, positive vibe. Anberlin’s Stephen Christian makes a guest appearance on “Slow Burn” as well.
I love pretty much every song on this album so it’s complicated when trying to figure out which songs that I should mention. Let’s start with the very first track, “Sometimes the Monsters Win,” which is driven along by a great, steady beat and capped off with ethereal guitar work and a grungey riff that pops in and out just enough to keep it swirling around in your brain. The jelly-filling is a chorus that is as anthemic as it is dissonant sounding. Of course, “Slow Burn” is a great song as well, offering a moodier take on the band’s sound. It has a mild Stoner Rock vibe and big, bright chorus. Stephen Christian’s appearance is cool as well, simply for the fact that its good to hear his voice. Another favorite among favorites is “We Are Not the Wolves.” It begins with a Sunny Day Real Estate vibe, sparsely building itself into a song that, by three-quarters of the way through, has built itself into an understated masterpiece blending heavy guitars with a more ambient background and soaring vocals.
So, I’m just gonna say it. I don’t know anything about this band’s religious affiliations or anything like that BUT I do know that Sky Beats Gold reminds me a lot of the brilliant output that “Christian bands” were offering from the mid -nineties to the mid-00’s. That’s a scene I sorely miss (and the singer reminds me of what the guy from Hotpinkturtle might sound like if he were in a band in 2017). Everything about this album is interesting, poetic, and positive. It doesn’t shy away from feelings of desolation but it always embraces the silver linings. Sky Beats Gold is a contender for Album of the Year in my book.
Reviewed by mark1340