Indie bands Broken Anchor & Stone Cold Fox join coasts to visit Boylston’s Cafe 939

Joey Johnson  Journal Staff

This past Saturday night, New York band Stone Cold Fox and Los Angeles duo Broken Anchor joined together for a show at Café 939 in Boston, and brought forth powerful tunes and wonderful stage presence.

Broken Anchor, a musical duet from Los Angeles, made up of guitarist and vocalist Austin Hartley-Leonard and percussionist Mike Duffy didn’t always aim to be just two. “We never really went into this imagining we would be a duo,” said Hartley-Leonard. “Originally I was just looking for a percussionist to help jam, but it kind of turned into what we have now.” And what they have is a very unique thing, bringing forth musical prowess that spans multiple genres. “I have a pretty strong Latin background in my music, and Austin has a lot of punk influence, so those are two pieces that show up in our music,” said Duffy.

Much akin to bands like The Black Keys, these two guys are capable of producing a lot of sound for only having two people onstage. While they do have a computer accompanist, it’s often only secondary to the real music being produced. “I remember saying to him that this works, this duo we have. The technology is still being worked in slowly, but for now what we have really works,” said Duffy.

Meanwhile across the United States, a young indie band from New York is making its way around the area. Stone Cold Fox, a five piece band from the Brooklyn area, presents a bit more pace in their music. Where Broken Anchor delivers a channel to the heart, Stone Cold Fox brings music more to the hips and the feet. “I would say our influences are bands like The Walkmen or The Strokes,” said lead singer and guitarist Kevin Olkenhenthorn. This influence is definitely visible in such songs as “American,” and “Pictures.”

These five young men all come from strong musical backgrounds according to bassist Justin Bright. Having mostly met in college, they are familiar with each other and how they work together. “We all have different ideas of what our sound should be like, so when all of us come together, we all bring something to the table. Our music making process is a lot of yelling, but we’re yelling together,” joked drummer Dave Tedeschi. “We really look for the roots of good song writing, like what’s the core of the song that we’re trying to get to,” said Olkenhenthorn.

Both bands are producing music at a quite fast rate. “We got together in I think April of last year, and we’ve done three EP’s so far. Our first album is coming out in September,” said Duffy of Broken Anchor.

“We’ve been playing for I think a year together, and so far we have the one EP, “The Young.” Our single is airing on MTV the 21st, and then an album will follow after that,” said Olkenhenthorn of Stone Cold Fox.

Both bands have had music featured on various television shows, and are rising very quickly. “If you were to have told me a year ago that I would have been sitting here in Boston as a part of a musical duo, I would’ve told you you were nuts,” said Hartley-Leonard. “We’re just really blessed,” replied Duffy.

Between these two groups, there is something to like for just about everybody. The softer, more direct sounds of Broken Anchor can be tied together extremely well with the more upbeat and faster sounds of Stone Cold Fox.

When asked what bands they could open for, no matter how outlandish, both bands had interesting responses to give.

As soon as Stone Cold Fox was asked the question, drummer Dave Tedeschi jumped at the opportunity to say “the original Broadway cast of Cats!” Broken Anchor’s Austin Hartley-Leonard responded very quickly with “Little Richard, definitely! All of the people in the crowd would be like ‘Wait, who are these dudes? This is nothing like Little Richard!”