When a band consists of members who each hail from all across the country, it’s inevitable that their sound won’t fit into a specific genre. For Stone Cold Fox, that’s exactly the case - in the best way possible. The Brooklyn based group is comprised of crooner Kevin Henthorn on lead vocals/guitar,Ariel Loh on keyboards, Aaron Hamel on drums,Graham Stone on guitar, and Justin Bright on bass. Five-piece bands are a rarity these days, as MacBooks steadily replace live bodies, but this band proves that each stud on stage is a necessity.
With looming graduation requirements and imminent “real life”, Ariel and Kevin’s campus collaboration several years ago quickly evolved from a senior project to a band worthy enough to be in the scene, willing enough to make it in the industry, and talented enough to stay there. Stone Cold Fox introduced their sound in their 2012 EP The Young, and released their debut album Memory Palace just this past year. With the band as their main focus, their “rock/pop/indie” (as per their Facebook) sound has yet to disappoint. There is no lack of originality, talent, or a need for their music — both in the music industry, and on your Spotify playlist.
Stone Cold Fox’s songs embodies “pop sensibility,” while maintaining a complexity of lyrics with depth and substance. Despite being completely fueled by Kevin at inception, the tracks have become more of an open and integrated discussion amongst the group. “When I was doing solo stuff, before Ariel, I was playing a lot darker music. Then I realized no one really wanted to hear it.”, says Kevin. The production of the tracks, however, is accredited to Ariel, who studied engineering and believed that’s what he wanted to do. After realizing it wasn’t, and becoming “a part of the band”, Ariel now sees giving up that role as a huge possibility as the band continues to work on new music. “I used to be the fresh set of ears…but as we become more collaborative, the more producing gets difficult,” says Ariel. This combined effort and joint involvement by the guys throughout the process paid off in the form of an album that is consistent in its content, dynamic in its offerings, and undeniable in its greatness.
Before opening for The Donkeys last week at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium, Stone Cold Fox told Joonbug all about this seemingly upward spiral of a journey. Sitting in between a giant cupcake statue and an old stained bench car seat on the balcony, Ariel admittedly acknowledged the “hard struggle and crazy hustle” of the music industry. Despite that inevitable fear of the unknown, it’s quite apparent that the guys have managed to develop a strong base of followers (with a weirdly large Spanish percentage thanks to a Mexican makeup YouTube vlogger that uses their songs in her videos).
The very Brooklyn venue stood to be no match for Stone Cold Fox’s set. Kevin was immediately able to break that invisible barrier between the stage and the audience, and set the scene for a dance party to ensue. The majority of their way-too-short set (in our biased and humble opinion), included previously released tracks such as “American”, “Sold”, “Seventeen”, and “Darling” (their last song that left the crowd wanting more). The rest of the set was dedicated to the seamless integration of new tracks that they’ve been working on, including “Change My Mind”, “Morning Light”, and the real show stopper, “Contagion”. The entirety of their performance was filled with unwavering energy and a special power that made even the most hipster of Brooklynites tap their feet. “Contagion” however, was in a league all its own. With Ariel lending a hand (literally) to Aaron on drums, and giving us more drumsticks than a KFC bucket meal, the new track was anthemic, dark, powerful, and left us in a puddle of sheer awe, greatly anticipating its release.
[caption id=“attachment_212” align=“aligncenter” width=“768”] Photo Credit: Nadine Suleiman[/caption]
With songs you’ll want to hear, music videos you’ll want to watch, and live performances you’ll want to witness, Stone Cold Fox will be your new favorite band…that is, if they aren’t already.
Now put on your dancing shoes and catch Stone Cold Fox’s upcoming live shows:
5/30: Hop Sauce Festival - Beach Haven, NJ 6/5: Infinity Hall - Norwalk, CT 6/20: Spring For Sound - Millerton, NY 8/6 - 8/9: Mile Of Music, WI