We have a new person helping us out, doing reviews of CD's, gigs, etc - Even_Steven. Here is the first article from Even_Steven - thanx for joining the team! His first contribution is a review of the debut album of the band Stonecollar....
Stonecollar is a 4-piece, hard rock band from Cape Town, consisting of Leshem Peterson (bass/vocals), Sean Tait (lead guitar), Clinton Jurgens (rhythm guitar) and Bryan Nicol (drums). Their debut album “Trial By Fire” has been written, produced, recorded, and mastered by the band, and after a solid month of giving the cd constant playing time in my car (the drive test ala “The Rocker”), here is my take.
The first thing I noticed when I finally got my grubby paws on the album was the packaging. It’s really good, the CD has a weird embossed-type Stonecollar logo on it, and the booklet has some cool pictures as well as the lyrics of all the tracks. A good start.
First up is “Not For Good”, I’m annoyed this is the first song as it is by far my least favourite on the album. I would’ve preferred one of the other thumpers, such as the Creed-ish “SQT”, “Turn a Blind Eye”, or even the title track “Trial by Fire”. On these tracks the vocals really shine and the riffs have you bobbing your head involuntarily, while the lead guitar has you playing air guitar at traffic light intersections when you happen to be caught at a red light. By far the standout track on the album is “Poison the Well” an awesome song that has some serious staying power, even a month later I still stick the CD in to get my fix.
The ballad “As the Crow Flies” is also very good. Why they only did one ballad on the album is a mystery, perhaps they’re afraid of showing their soft side too often. “Unnatural Selection” and “Say Your Prayers” are also good tracks and worth a listen.
As a band, Stonecollar are on the right track. The vocals, guitars and drums on the album all mesh well together and they have a distinct “old-school rock” with glimpses of “modern rock” sound. With their energetic and tight live performances as well as this album as their first offering, it seems the best is yet to come.
On the downside, the production on the album is not that great. The main letdowns are the drums and bass, both being too soft and having a faraway/distant sound. Having said that, this is still a great album and if hard rock is your genre of music it’s definitely worth a listen.
Go to www.stonecollar.co.za to order your own copy, either in CD or digital format.
Best Tracks: Poison the Well, Turn a Blind Eye, SQT, As the Crow Flies
If you like: old school rock like Metallica or modern rock such as Creed/Breaking Benjamin – you will like this album