Able Baker Fox - Voices
Second Nature Recordings
If you know me, by now I've probably talked to you about about this record. Voices is the first release from Able Baker Fox, a supergroup of sorts, comprised of members of The Casket Lottery and Small Brown Bike. Mike, Ben, and Jeff from Small Brown Bike have joined up with Nathan from the Casket Lottery to release a record that sounds enough like their old bands to warrant a comparison, but distinct enough to be a great record on its own.
Voices was written and demoed via mail and though digital recordings made in Missouri, Michigan, Illinois and New York. The band finally all got together in 2007, had a 10 hour practice, and then spent four days recording. For a record written over such vast distances and a long time frame, their is a strong sense of cohesion and a true band feeling.
Multiple vocal parts fill every song, with three different singers trading lines, verses and choruses. Textured guitars weave in and out of one another, and while there's a feeling of melody, it never really gets too clean or polished. There's a steady feeling of gruffness and edge. Dynamics really vary, as is expected from a band with this pedigree, and the vocals really push a lot forward. Personall, I'm definitely glad to hear Mike Reed singing for another band like this, as Small Brown Bike was a band I respected a lot, and really inspired me at Fest.
Overall, I can't say enough good things about this record. I wish that I could make it out to Chicago to see them Saturday with Hot Water Music, but I guess I'll have to use the LP as a substitute. I'm hoping that we see enough of this band for a second full length. This record was put together with one real practice; I'd be amazed to see what they could do if they all moved to the same state.