18 Sep 2021
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Tablefox - Album Review: Battles

26 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

What strikes one most about the third album from Tablefox is the sheer diversity of styles on display. True, they are very much rooted in the Eighties and their style is also often very Kiwi, but after that they move all over the place. Alt rock is the flavour of the day, but more in the anthemic style of the likes of Simple Minds (in particular), while also bringing in elements of New Order, Dinosaur Jr. and even U2 Light In The Darkness starts with gentle picked guitar and plaintive vocals, with an almost Coldplay feel, and it builds ever so gently with additional guitar and vocals. The drums finally make a gentle entrance in the second verse, bass gradually shows up, plus piano and orchestration, but by the end it is a soaring anthem full of massive guitars and sounds which would fill an arena. It is so very different indeed to the riff-laden chugging machine that is Burning Bridges, which opens the album. Again, this is a builder but here we have a song with a chorus designed for everyone to sing along with – I imagine this is immense when played live.

There is also room for a beautiful ballad led be acoustic and electric guitar intertwining, Ghostlines, which leads us into the album closer, Keep Them Guessing which reminds us of the Liverpool scene of the Eighties with infectious harmonies and sweeping basslines. Of course, when the 10 tracks and 37 minutes finally come to an end then the only thing to do is put it back on again. The more I have played the album the more I have got from it, and it is wise to pay attention as there is much more going on under the surface than one immediately recognises, while it is the arrangements combined with the emotional vocals of singer Clinton Bell which make this what it is. They bring in horns when the time is right, but as they are used sparingly their impact is much greater than it would be otherwise. Packed full of hooks, it is no surprise that 5 of the 10 songs have been released as singles and collectively they spent over half of 2020 in the top 20 of the NZ Rock chart.

Polished, professional, and packed full of hooks, this is a great rock album to really enjoy with a smile on your face.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Tablefox

After a massive last few years playing shows with the likes of James, The Charlatans, City Calm Down and The Feelers, Kiwi rock 4-piece Tablefox return with the lead single from their third album Battles.

Recorded by Scott Seabright Productions and mastered by Ryan Smith (AC/DC, Greta Van Fleet) at Sterling Sound. Burning Bridges was released on July 27, 2021, with the album Battles landing on July 30th. A stonking track that opens the new album and signifies everything about the last few years for the band.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tablefox

Releases

Battles
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Glass Houses
Year: 2017
Type: EP
You And I Will Find A Way
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Objects
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Passenger
Year: 2013
Type: EP

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