Whoa! It appears some sort of rip in the fabric of space and time has occured in the Björn household and I have been magically transported back to the early 1990's! Either that or I'm listening to Killed A Fox, a band from Zagreb, Croatia, channeling all things grunge and alternative rock. I was in my mid-teens during the whole uprising of the whole wave of grunge and alternative rock and totally down with the likes of Nirvana and Alice In Chains (I still, to this day consider 'Bleach' and 'Dirt' among my favorite albums of all time), but I have to say it's been quite some time since I ventured outside my comfort zone (I blame black metal). But, in the name of journalistic integrity I'm giving this a go, not in the least because every band that willingly plays an unfashionable style of music has my respect.
To be fair, calling Killed A Fox grunge or alternative rock is cutting it short a bit. The band inject their alternative rock with a healthy dose of psychedelic rock, stoner/southern rock and metal, plus they give it a slightly progressive edge. What strikes me at the first listen is how incredibly convincing this sounds. I might have joked about it at the start of this review, but it really does transport you to the heydays of alternative rock! Whether this was the intention or not, Killed A Fox caters to everyone who feels nostalgic about that period. I have absolutely no idea what the musical landscape in eastern Europe in general, and Croatia in particular, is at the moment (outside of metal that is). Maybe this style of music never went away over there? Which leads me to another question. Does music HAVE to be fashionable? Of course not! There's loads of revivals of other forgotten and/or unfashionable music styles going on at the moment, just because musicians want to play the music they love, regardless if it's hot or not. Proto-metal and early '80s metal gets revisited, there are new bands playing krautrock, so why not this?
After a couple of listens it has to be said, Killed A Fox sound like they are having a blast playing their brand of alternative rock because the whole thing rocks from the beginning to the end. The album was recorded by their drummer Leonard Klaić and he managed to give the album an impressive sound. The mix is near perfect, all instruments are crystal clear and well distinguishable while remaining heavy all throughout the album. Singer Chris Ian gives an equally impressive display of his very diverse vocal abilities. Channeling the late Layne Staley and Chris Cornell at times but putting his own stamp on it and occasionally screaming from the top of his head. I honestly can't fault this album and that is something I wouldn't have thought a few hours ago when I sat down to do the review. Feels good to be pleasantly surprised every once in a while.
It's really funny because if Killed A Fox was around 23 years ago, and from Seattle on top of that, they would have been huge. Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Tool even.. If those names have you sighing and longing for better days, do yourself a favour and check out this album!