The Philadelphia-based roots rockers originally formed in 2006, making them a relatively new addition to the music scene. However, they prove their songwriting abilities to be substantial and worthy of notice with this charming, well-produced studio effort. In researching Three Legged Fox for this review, I read that the band originally took shape as reggae band and won the University of Delaware’s 2006 Battle of the Bands with their very first performance. However, they have broken free from any constricting molds lately, penning songs with melodic rock sensibilities for this album. These songs are spiced with reggae percussion and rhythms and feature a plethora of guest musicians, including Jacob Hemphill from SOJA and Oguer Ocon from Slightly Stoopid. Three Legged Fox features the soulful lyrics and vocals of Kyle Wareham, who also contributes rhythm guitar (and piano) for the album. The band is completed by Mike Brody on lead guitar, Eric Weisenstein on bass, and Kory Kochersperger on drums.
“Soul Thief” is the first concoction in this enticing brew, utilizing crunchy guitar and Wareham’s smooth vocals to create an engaging first impression. “Away” displays Three Legged Fox’s reggae-inspired roots in a lovelorn ballad that features enticing guest vocals and Wareham’s trademark vocal delivery. The title track of the album spotlights yearning guitar with reggae flavors in an optimistic track where the lyrics encourage patience and fortitude in a difficult world. “Maybe I’m Sorry,” with scurrying guitar, further demonstrates Wareham’s excellent voice and smooth crooning style. “Back Again” ratchets up the energy as an infectious, sing-along anthem with a carefree, yet determined spirit. “Gone” features whimsical guitar laced throughout the composition, while “I Believe” (featuring Jacob Hemphill) showcases nice horns, vocals, and guitar. A triumphant, almost spiritual chorus concludes the song and sets the stage for “Slow Down,” another smooth track displaying Wareham’s silky delivery against the backdrop of horns and reggae-inspired rhythms. “Found Out” has a definite “rock and roll spirit,” with flourishes that invoke the spirit of the Allman Brothers and solid organ work from Mark Boyce, who contributes to several tracks on “Not as Far.” “Higher Love” closes the album in a subdued, almost wistful fashion as Wareham takes a turn on the piano in a charming, yet understated, spiritual ballad.
Three Legged Fox delivers a smooth, polished effort with this collection of tunes. The songs display the band’s love for reggae and reggae-inspired melodies, yet these tracks veer from rock to reggae and back with confidence, on the strength of Kyle Wareham’s vocals. The musical contributions of his band mates are also evident, as they provide interesting tapestries for Wareham to explore, while Mike Brody’s guitar work is also strongly displayed throughout this album. This album, with its soulful tunes, will definitely entice the lover of strong lyrics and vocals, and present a charming snapshot of a band finding its mark in the studio.
- By J. Evan Wade