An odd duality marks Counter Counter Culture, Skyfox's latest effort. There's a common thread of pain that comes through in the lyrics on each of the ten tracks. Whether it's the agony of a romance gone bad — a theme spelled out in songs like "Drug in Me (Down)" — or the heartbreak of confronting a deadbeat dad ("So Lost"), this album offers plenty of sadness. But that tone is at odds with the pure vibrancy of the music. Echoing the infectious energy of vocalist and guitarist Johnny Hill, the band offers speedy, distortion-laden rock anthems that are consistently energizing; the title tune fairly pops with frantic guitar lines and tight rhythmic accompaniment. On slower numbers, like "All You Need Is Blood" and "Our Last Breath," Hill's earnest and honest vocals help lighten the grim subject matter. Even as he declares "We are broken, lost and alone," the music remains compelling.
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