'When The Crow Flies'
Release Date: 1st December 2014
Stonewire's debut album is exactly as hoped for – hard rocking with a bunch of killer tracks that immerse you, show you a good time and leave you wanting more.
The Kent-based band have been gigging solidly for the past couple of years and produce a compelling live show, so there was quite a bit of expectation that this debut album would be of an equal quality.
And it really is. We have all been to gigs when we have loved the performance of the artist... and then gone home and listened to someone better because the recorded material isn't up to scratch. No such problem here – the songs are strong and the performances capture the strength and power of the gigs.
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It's one of those albums which can't just be left on in the background – it demands your attention from the moment Sky Hunter's impeccable vocals blast out of the speakers on 'Walk The Line'.
The hard gigging of the past couple of years have honed and refined Stonewire's sound which is replicated here to fantastic effect. It's got dirty blues, anthems, hard rock, Southern grooves and passion coming out of every pore.
The songs are written by Stonewire and produced by drummer Robert Glasner. Mixing was done by Voodoo Six bassist Tony Newton and Pete Friesen (Alice Cooper, The Almighty) provides additional guitar.
There are marvellously confrontational tracks such as 'Winters Hold' and 'Favourite Bitch' here, and for a change in tempo but not intensity 'One Last Time' has longing and passion and faces up to the end of a relationship with compassion and a determination to live in the moment.
The epic 'Fix You' shines here, a live favourite that has found its home as the official album closer, all swagger and energy. Every member of the band plays a starring role throughout the album, but it is undoubtedly Sky's striking vocals that linger in the memory; powerful, rich and from the heart.
The album also contains a real jewel with the uncredited bonus song - a strikingly layered and harmonised acoustic track which revisits the title theme of the flight of the crow in the lyrics. The crow is a symbol for walking your walk and speaking your truth, a call to fearless, audacious living and this song is a wonderful representation of both this and the beauty of heathen practises – stepping up and taking responsibility and forging your own fate.
This could be the theme of the album- Stonewire are stepping up and showing us who they are, and there are no half measures here. A hard and heavy album which pulsates with crystalline vitality – this is a more than welcome addition to the collection.
In a year which has seen lots of impressive debuts, 'When The Crow Flies' is up there among the top of the pack. It's full on, it's fiery, it's fucking fantastic.
Walk The Line
When The Crow Flies
Mama They'll Never Know
One Last Time
Stonewire will play at Legends Of Rock – The Originals, Great Yarmouth 16-19 October, with Black Star Riders, The Quireboys, Uli Jon Roth and more...