Voices (Second Nature)

Able Baker Fox 

Voices
(Second Nature)

“October” by Able Baker Fox, from Voices

Back in 2002, Kansas City's Casket Lottery released a collaborative split EP with the Michigan band Small Brown Bike. Able Baker Fox represents another active partnership between the two (now dormant) groups, with Casket Lottery singer and guitarist Nathan Ellis joining Small Brown Bike members Ben Reed, Mike Reed and Jeff Gensterblum. Despite the disproportionate representation, Voices bears a stronger resemblance to Ellis' erstwhile outfit, with crisp guitars and choppy rhythms. This aptly titled album features three vocalists (the Reed brothers both sang in Small Brown Bike), and their subtly varied deliveries — calm yet forceful — prove perfectly complementary. The band's precision riffs, ringing leads and stop-and-start cadences recall the Police and early Helmet, with traces of classic rock and hardcore adding intrigue. Melodic, passionate and heavy (in a dense, wall-of-sound way), Voices combines the best elements of Able Baker Fox's late, lamented parent acts.

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