WHITEFOXX - Come Pet The Foxx

July 1, 2014, 3 months ago

(FnA Records)

By Mark Gromen

Rating: 7.0

review whitefoxx

WHITEFOXX - Come Pet The Foxx A staple of the '80s south Jersey bar scene, Whitefoxx took over, headlining the fabled Galaxy stage, once the likes of Cinderella, Tangier and Britny Fox had all been snapped up. Former guitarists went on to play with Waysted, Heaven's Edge and in the case of Foxx precursor Precious Metal (not the female pop-metallers), singer Tony Harnell (TNT) all came through their ranks. Although mags and labels were sniffing around, this Foxx was perpetually on the run. Eventually singer Mark Chasen split, to form his own band, while bassist Mike Regina took control of the Whitefoxx name. Fast forward almost three decades and their music is finally available (legally) to the masses (through online outlets like CD Baby, etc.), now augmented with a trio of live cuts from '85! Just saw the reunited band in concert and these renditions are more polished/produced (a product of that time) than the live sound, which is/was more raw. Thus the dichotomy of that scene, originally legitimate heavy metal, but once the major labels saw some success, sought to water down and doll-up the original concept. One of their best tunes, "Beverly Hills" is up first, with high pitched, Paul Stanley-inspired squeals, although the echoing drums sound phony. The piano begun, Slaughter-ish "There Is A Way" and "Starry Eyes" with its accompanying ride cymbal, were attempts at the power ballad market, which paradoxically, was what many of the Philly area bands are/were known for, was never their strong suits. Speaking of squeaky voices, listen to "Hit The Road", another live staple that features some spirited guitar. The less said about the over-produced and faded conclusion to "Reach Out", the better. The quality fluctuates a bit throughout the seven studio recordings, done moreso than "Love Is On The Way" and guitar driven "It's So Hard". There's thousands of middle aged Mid-Atlantic folks who recall these songs fondly, but only a handful really come off as strong enough for professional consideration (hence the lack of a deal?), However,the live material, while tinny, bootleg quality, includes a revving, "Drive All Night" and audience participatory "Harder"(neither featured elsewhere on the disc) offering a more realistic picture of the band I remember, then and now.

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