The genesis for Able Baker Fox can be traced back six years and even before. Small Brown Bike and The Casket Lottery had toured together before working together on a collaborative EP in 2002. Friendship and mutual admiration bonded the two groups together until both bands eventually broke up. Lucky for us, those relationships continued on and in 2006 the first seeds of Able Baker Fox began to take shape. Even with the all members living in separate cities, the band forged ahead piecing songs together whenever possible. Throw in some intense practice sessions and four days of recording, and you have Voices.
The Casket Lottery and Small Brown Bike had similar career trajectories. Both bands seemed to mellow and become more accessible with age. Perhaps that is why Able Baker Fox is such a pleasant surprise. Voices brims with a refined power and aggression. Able Baker Fox never leans too heavy towards either of the members’ former bands. Instead, the band has found a perfect middle ground. Nathan Ellis and Mike Reed’s vocals interweave together masterfully. Intricate instrumentation and ambitious arrangements make Voices an intriguing listen. The album shows the mark of veteran musicians who have bonded through much more than just guitar chords.
The Casket Lottery and Small Brown Bike were two of my favorite bands from the late nineties. So, for Able Baker Fox not to come out as a disappointment is a testament to just how talented these musicians are. Fans of the two bands should be pleasantly surprised. Newbies should enjoy and dive right into The Casket Lottery and Small Brown Bike discographies. With Voices, Able Baker Fox have put forth a refreshing and nostalgic listen. Frankly, this is what post-hardcore should sound like.
Brand New Moses