Shit a brick. Sentinel Daily head honcho Scott Adams passes me so many albums with the note ‘this’ll be right up your alley’ attached to them that I’ve stopped taking notice. However on the evidence of this latest bit of editorial largesse I should start taking a bit more heed. Because Stone Deaf are rather good. (too late, you’re fired – Ed).
Opening up with a raucous slab of noisy venom entitled Spitshine (imagine the Dead Kennedys if they were just starting out now) is a good move, but the whole half hour duration of Royal Burnout, the band’s second album, is pretty much just as good. Second track Room #240 is the sort of droning alt.rock Josh Homme might take a fancy to, if Irish yobs Therapy? hadn’t gotten hold of it first, with Scott Anderson and Dustin Champlin cranking out some greasy, catchy riffs with high levels of aplomb.
Strangely third track Buzzards finds vocalist Cody Isaman (I think) sounding like Bob Geldof – in a good way, almost unthinkable though that is – whilst next track Monochrome adds some nice keyboard touches to the chorus to spice things up a bit. Fans of bands like Torche will lap this up.
If this all sounds a bit ‘indie’ for you then you might like to fast forward to the superb Boozy Spool which opens with a filthy riff and then creeps it’s way through a nasty collection of moods and atmospheres; this is metal in the old school style, Alice Cooper fashion, unsettling and jagged, yet eminently listenable; how all music should sound, probably.
Deathwish 62 goes back to the style visited on Room #240, yet does so in a manner that keeps things fresh and interesting, but if that doesn’t float your boat you may care to investigate the superbly remorseless penultimate track That Lefty Response, which powers ahead on a stripped down yet mesmerising riff and another superb vocal performance. Though shockingly only four and three quarter minutes long, this track will absorb you, suck you in to it’s miasma of claustrophobic intensity and spit you out the other side feeling exhausted and slightly grubby.
The band close Royal Burnout with the title track, another desert-tinged slice of alt.rock that’ll appeal to those who understand but probably leave the casual unbeliever cold; I’m not usually a big fan of this kind of music myself, but there’s something utterly compelling about what Stone Deaf have tried to achieve on this record. Have a listen once – even with half an ear – and you’ll be as hooked as me. This is required listening.
Stone Deaf will release Royal Burnout through Black Bow Records on May 2nd.