Late Too Soon, the debut release from Chicago band Aaron Fox & The Reliables, harks back to a time when pop bands weren’t so easy to pigeonhole. The quartet’s melodic blend of acoustic and electric instruments definitely taps into a Midwestern tradition that includes Spooner, The Bodeans, and Thrift Store Halo, but there are also elements of Country & Western, easy listening, and mainstream rock. All of the songs were written by lead singer-guitarist Aaron Fox, and his easy-going vocal style, as well as the harmonies from bassist-vocalist Bob Vodick and guitarist Mike Burns are consistent throughout the various musical styles on the CD.
“If It’s Not Broken” is an ambitious effort, with an extended arrangement and big production values. Still, stacking four slow tunes at the end of the CD, the way Aaron Fox & The Reliables do here, risks losing the listener’s focus, even if the music is well-crafted. It’s easy to see why the band chose “Looking For A Place To Hide” for its first video; it’s a great power pop number with ringing guitars that recalls Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. “False Alarm” and “Too Tired To Sleep” also serve as energetic highlights, while the quieter “Over Again” brings to mind the vintage days of The Byrds.