Foxes On The Run are an alt-rock, indie band from Brazil and this is their eponymous debut album, featuring seven new songs and four re-worked songs from their debut EP Wild Things, both of which came out in 2022. The band are essentially a trio comprised of Eduardo Santana (guitars and vocals); Fábio Blanco on bass and vocals; and Luiz Castrizana on drums, although they are occasionally augmented by friends on back-up guitar for live performances.
They’re a fresh-faced crew, full of youthful enthusiasm and no little talent on the evidence of this assured and mature debut. Foxes On The Run has a great range of moods and tempo across the song-set, and the lyrcis themselves cover a plethora of topics, from feelings of loss (Gone) and indecisiveness (Whitewater) to novelized stories (The Hunt) that are again mature beyond their years. Fans of Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and Mini Mansions will all find something to enjoy here, and I would particularly highlight the contribution of Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, Eleven) for the mix of songs Friends, Chained Dog and Watch Out. The whole was recorded at Voy-Age Studios in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo.
The overall production is nicely crisp, echoing the cleanliness of the arrangements, all of which stem from the pen of Eduardo. He clearly has a flair for pacing and simplicity in his guitar work and melodies. I’d say they are more Indie than alt-rock, all of their tracks on here being immediately accessible and enjoyable!
The album opens with Whitewater, a jangling riff niggling at the senses with quite a sparse rhythm underpinning the show. The vocals on this one are gently distorted at first, almost as though they’re underwater, becoming more strident in the Power-Pop second half. Not dissimilar to Radiohead at times and not suffering in that comparison! By contrast the following track Friends reminds me of New York’s Connor Bracken in its youthful energy, bouncy rock and high-spirited “whooping” chorusline!
Watch Out! continues that New Jersey vibe, but with overlayered guitar lines that are at times fuzzy, at others more metallic. It’s an interesting blend that hovers on the edge of becoming over-complicated without quite falling over that edge – the overall effect is intriguing! Chained Dog follows, again “nearly messy” percussion seemingly at odds with the song-structure, yet surviving. Not the strongest track here. Supernova is more of a meaty rock vibe, this could be Nick Cave? It’s got a nicely bar-room feel to it, and some sharp, insidious guitar work that gets inside your head..good stuff! Greyhound is another upbeat number, I begin to get a sense almost of 1978 pub-rock energy from these guys in the switching from choppy guitar to pacey rhythms and back.
Liquid Gold is fascinating, another bar-room bluesy number, a slower, nicely sparse intro gradually allowing a riff to develop. Eduardo’s vocals are adept at switching effortlessly from gently echoey to stronger choruses, then matching the change of pace inherent in his songs. That’s the Muse influence / likeness showing for me.
Out at Dawn is a brief, staccato vehcile for a riff for the first minute, then switches completely into a liquid, jazzy section before distorted guitar lines and beefy percussion take over – all captured in 2 minutes, 25 seconds! The Hunt, in contrast, is perhaps the album’s tour-de-force, all 8 minutes 20 seconds of it. Dreamy, slow, maybe a hint of Pink Floyd crossed with Radiohead even? However I struggle to describe it, it’s a powerful haunting beast of a track that builds from quiet background lullaby to full-on frenzy – perfectly capturing that sense of the hunt! A middle section of heartbeat and little else gives a sense of menace and foreboding, although I’m not sure how the introduction of violin serves to illuminate the ending of the tale….again – intriguing.
Gone is perhaps an echo of The Hunt, taking up violin and a sense of poignancy where The Hunt left off. This is almost conceptual? Nevertheless, it’s an ambitious approach, the track then builds with a fuzzed guitar line and a meaty conclusion where the band’s alt-rock credentials are revealed.
Failure brings the album to a conclusion, again pitching sparse arrangements against some angry sounding guitar work before “Thom Yorke-inspired” vocals float around the studio with a big Radiohead feel to this one. After a brief pause, the song and the album finish with a slice of gentle salsa – it’s clever, mature song-writing and altogether I’m mightily impressed! Looking forward to more from these guys!