The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

STEREOSIDE

STEREOSIDE

 

 

I loved the SO LONG album by these guys from a few years ago. It was something with a little body to it. Sure it aimed for radio-friendly new rock vibe (and audience) but there was a solid base to it, if not exactly the blues, then sleaze at least. Oh and a healthy regard for melody. Oh, and shit, yes some great tunes too. That CD though had a real flavour of BUCKCHERRY to it and a broad vein of sleaze throughout, here we get something a little different with a lot more maturity and a large shot of southern soul.

 

TRAILER PARK SCUM the lead singe from this album is just a great song, intensely catchy, radio-friendly with a great hook. And that’s what you get here: a good honest set of well-written songs that rock. There may be a modern sound to the music and a feel that one eye is on the charts: but close one eye and you could imagine these guys back at the bluesier end of any decade and they wouldn’t seem too out of place. They also ain’t afraid of a guitar solo which these days is cool in itself.

 

I’d place a band like this somewhere in between BLACK STONE CHERRY and  SHINEDOWN, they really sound like neither completely but have that vibe, go on then throw in a handful of BUCKCHERRY, and a pinch of ALTERBRIDGE too…

 

RISKTAKER the second song on the CD tells you what it’s all about. It’s a no-nonsense rocker puts the star of the show: Jeff Shields voice to the fore.

 

The bust of slide that is BLACK SHEEP lets you know we are in the South. It’s a great song and one of my favourites here. The ballad WALK ALONE despite being a great showcase for Jeff’s voice is perfectly OK but just a little uninspired and safe; I wanted something a little more slow-burning and brooding to really set it alight.

 

BY NOW smoulders along and has one of the best solos on the record; GET ON too is rocking along in the similar country to BLACK STONE CHERRY. It’s the next song for me though that probably takes the cake. All drums and lazy riffs; LIFE GOES ON is driven forward by Jeff’s strong vocal and pretty much achieves that timeless quality where you start thinking BADLANDS and are unable to pick the decade that it may have been recorded. It’s the best here and certainly good enough to worry the charts.

 

Te album closes with some mixed sounds AMAZING is again looking at the charts and seems to achieve that radio-friendly sound without quite losing all of its depth. THESE BONES on the other hand is an almost song, that tries but just doesn’t sink the teeth. Closer CRAZY AND PARANOID has me thinking of SHINEDOWN immediately, good only just not quite as good as Brent Smith’s boys.

 

This IS a modern rock album don’t get me wrong, but saying that it’s not NICKELBACK, and by that I mean it doesn’t all sound exactly the same. There’s a certain spark here that catches light in places but doesn’t quite generate enough heat to start a flash-fire. STEREOSIDE is a good band with potential and they realise it in places. There’s good enough material on this and their last release to think that they will have in them a great album one day once they finally find their own voice.  

 

Mark