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  STONEFACE
'Stoneface'
(Independent)
Out Now


Johnny Main

johnny main



stoneface

Glasgow based Stoneface may have been around for less than a year, but the band aren't hanging about when it comes to their music. With a handful of successful gigs at the back end of 2014, they spent the rest of their time in the studio making this self-titled debut album the very best that it could be – and their work has paid off handsomely.

For me, 'Vapour Rising' is amongst the best the band have to offer. It's a great track with bass player Richard Walsh leading the way with his simple bass line which underpins the acoustic guitar, whilst in the background the sound the electric guitar riff simmers away, threatening to take over at any moment but never quite managing it.

Just when you think you've got a handle on where the song is going, the drums and vocals take over on this slow and moody track. The long instrumental gaps between verses gives vocalist Stewart Storrie a chance to collect his thoughts before delivering the each subsquent verse with power and emotion. Mean, moody and magnificent – is the only way I can find to sum this song up.

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There are plenty of other quality songs to choose from here too. Take 'Superhero', for example, with its stop-start guitar riff giving the track a different feel to some of the others. This is no tribute to the Batman or Spiderman type of superhero (although x-ray eyes and kryptonite, do get a mention) but it's more about a guy telling his girlfriend/wife that's he's trying to be a superhero to her. "I'm just a shot away" and You need a hero" are the catchy lyrics here, and I'm sure the band could utilise this to great effect during a live gig getting the crowd energised.

Likewise, 'Machine' is a slower paced number with another great guitar riff courtesy of guitarist, Grant Walsh. Storrie puts in another strong vocal performance too, giving the gaps in the lyrics just long enough to make him sound enigmatic but making sure these gaps are too long that they interupt the flow of the song. The backing vocals add a bit more body to the number too, giving a fuller sound overall.

'Pressing Down' is another slower tempo track that has drummer, Kevin Mackie, playing a simple but effective drum beat as he's joined by bass player Richard Walsh during the extended intro before the first verse finally breaks in with Storrie clear and commanding. It's not long before a lyrical guitar steps in and the point where the track really comes alive. This song's a great band effort with no-one stealing the limelight and has the band working in glorious harmony. If this song doesn't get your foot tapping then nothing will (probably!).

stoneface

'Not Your Slave' is a more up-tempo number by comparison with Mackie really attacking the song and driving it onwards. This is sure to be a firm favourite in a live scenario alongside 'Food For The Crows'. With it's guitar riff cutting through the track like a hot knife through butter while Mackie pounds out the steady beat at the back, the lastter serves as a great opening track for the album. The vocals are good and clear with Storrie stretching himself showing how important it is too give their level best, and there's certainly no expense spared here when it comes to performance.

'Lost Without You' is a track with another strong guitar riff giving the opportunity for Storrie to give a more bluesy performance that previous tracks allowed him, before the heavy rock groove of 'FTJ' brings the pace back up. The bass guitar and drum sound in the latter is effortless and meld all together to give a solid sound that some other bands would struggle to achieve.

There's always room for an acoustic track and in this case, it comes in the shape of 'Stained', which has just Grant Walsh on acoustic guitar joining Storrie's vocals in the intro in perfect harmony. Obviously this is a slower tempo number and when the bass and drums do eventually kick in, the pace quickens only slightly but it shows Stoneface in a more informal and relaxed atmosphere. They too realise that sometimes you don't need to be flash and showy, and this track is a prime example of that.

Although the album is available on ITunes, for those who prefer a physical CD then there is a bonus of two exclusive acoustic tracks ('Vapour Rising' and 'All About You') added at the end proving that 'Stained' was not just a one off experiment but that the rest of the Stoneface catalogue sounds just as good pared down as it does with all the amps and electric guitars turned up. All in all though, this is a formidable debut album from a band who certainly have a bright future ahead of them.

You can see Stoneface live here:
Saturday 21st March - The Classic Grand, Glasgow (with Killing From A Distance)

'Stoneface' Tracklist:
Food For The Crows
Superhero
Pressin' Down
Stained
Machine
Vapour Rising
All About You
FTJ
A Step To The End
Not Your Slave
Lost Without You
50ft Drop

Stoneface are:
Stewart Storrie - Vocals
Grant Walsh - Guitar
Rick Walsh - Bass Guitar
Kevin Mackie - Drums

Stoneface pictures (c) MainStage Photography 2014 (http://www.facebook.com/MainStagePhotography)


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25.2.2015












 


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