SUNS OF STONE – Suns Of Stone (2014)
SUNS OF STONE hails from Ottawa, Canada, formed by an experienced crew of musicians who share an uncompromising love for Classic Rock and who kick up one hell of a storm on their self-titled debut album, playing tribute to the beloved acts of their youth with a surprisingly gutsy collection that emphasises the blues at the heart of heavy rock.
They cross over from Bad Company at their best to Aerosmith and The Black Crowes radio-friendly sensibilities, a liberal application of Jimmy Page-inspired guitar riffs and with occasional Deep Purple influences that extend beyond the familiar title of the self penned “Stormbringer”.
But comparisons aside, the band just plays some good old-fashioned rock ‘n roll, and they plays it very well.
The task Suns Of Stone set themselves is as obvious as it is difficult, in trying to cut an album that fuses the past with the present and produces material recognisable as their own. They sure give it their best shot, with some stonking classic rock and in vocalist Alan Charlton they have a singer with the range and presence to fill what is left of the rock radio airwaves.
The band teeters on the brink of hard rock, but constantly pulls back from a total engagement, mainly because of the consistent quality of their melodies and big grooves that refuse to become bogged down in sludgy arrangements.
Listen for example to the penultimate track “For Some Reason”, which is a hard rock classic in the making, full of pounding rhythms, a great vocal, and echoes of Rush circa Snakes & Arrows. It’s a great track by a band that has much to bring to the contemporary classic rock scene.
Charlton delivers a tough vocal on the opening “Hold On Me” and he’s even better on the staccato rhythms of the bone crunching “Rise Up”. Guitarist Jimmy King adds a scorching solo on a song that wouldn’t be out of place on a Sammy Hagar / Chickenfoot album.
The aforementioned “Stormbringer” is another fine song with a strong melodic hook that will surely give the band a chance of some deserved airplay.
There’s a slight change of direction on the southern rock influenced “Another Dollar”, which starts out as a guitar heavy, distant cousin of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and then suddenly changes tempo to usher in a hypnotic chanted vocal and a wah-wah inflected solo over a thumping bass line. You can imagine the song being ground out in a beer and whiskey soaked basement, as drunken punters roar their approval as they sink their beers.
Charlton stars again on the melodic chorus of the Aerosmith influenced “Talking To Me”, while “A Little More” is soulful, atmospheric slow burner. It’s a compact, guitar led groove on which the bass player Andrew Erlandson and drummer Alex Scott provide the whip crack rhythm to rack up the tension, before Scott cuts through with a dirt toned melodic solo.
As you can see there’s something for everyone on “Suns Of Stone”, a lovely written, arranged and produced album full of several great vocals, insistent riffs, sparkling solos and a vibrant core.
It’s one of those records that is equally a pleasure whether you are sitting, trying to listen to it in detail or to kick back and enjoy a beer and chat with friends whilst it rocks in the background. A pleasure to listen to – a warm, melodic classic rock gem that, whilst not reinventing the wheel, does a grand job of showing just how good the wheel can sound when polished to near perfection.
Each repeated play of “Suns Of Stone” draws you in and breathes fresh life and spirit into old school classic rock / blues-infused hard rock. If you dig these genres (who does not when it’s so well done), then this massively enjoyable record is for you.
01 – Hold On Me
02 – Rise Up
03 – Stormbringer
04 – Another Dollar
05 – Talking To Me
06 – A Little More
07 – Down The Road
08 – Sun Don’t Shine
09 – For Some Reason
10 – Piece Of Mind
BUY IT !